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

clawrenc at cup.hp.com clawrenc at cup.hp.com
Mon Jul 7 14:04:23 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

In <Marcel-1.09-0705233445-0b0Ky&5 at Gryphon.knoware.nl>, on 07/06/97 
   at 12:34 AM, Marian Griffith <gryphon at iaehv.nl> said:

>>>> From: clawrenc at cup.hp.com

>>>>> 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'. 

Got any example that you consider would be enjoyable for players?

Being the head cop is kinda fun until you start looking at where all
the supposed perp's are going to come from.

>  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).

Are you content that you can:

  a) Define the function of such a position with sufficient accuracy
that you can measure whether or not the function is being fulfilled?

  b) Get others to agree to this definition in sufficient numbers?

A very very simple way of determining if you have define the function
of a position with sufficient clarity and accuracy is whether or not
your definition can be easily (trivially even) be broken down into a
number of discrete statistics whose measurement and tracking directly
reflect the quality and thoroughness of the job being done.  Graph
those statistics.  When the graph goes up does that *always* mean that
things are going better?  If not you stats and probably your
definition are wrong.  

Sample bad stat for a policeman:  Number of arrests per day.  Obvious
faults: no relation to crime rate, no measurement of validity of
arrests, no measurement of applicability of arrests, no measurement of

Sample good stat for baker:  number of full sized loaves sold per day. 
Obvious strengths: directly tied to production rate of bake store,
takes commonly demanded basic bread item to avoid market fads,
directly tracks with demand, directly tracks with degree demand is
satisfied, etc.

>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. 

How do they acquire this power?  It has to originate from somewhere.

>  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.

BubbaJoe lives in town.  Every body pay's their power to TheMan, and
TheMan makes sure the streets get swept etc etc etc.  BubbaJoe doesn't
pay.  WHat happens?

>  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. 

What penalty is there on the players if they tolerate a job done
badly?  Is there an actually, playable, in-game effect?  What pivots
the short term gainers against the long term gainers?

>  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 succesfull 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).

Observation: It seems that implicit here is an underlieing base of
SimPeeps to staff and maintain the basic world.  Players are then
injected into this population rather ala a disease to warp, mutate,
take control of, or otherwise divert the structures the SimPeeps are
default assembled into.  Key to this view is fact that the number of
players will be comparitively small (sub-ten thousand (guesstimate at
a minimal working comunity large enough to have significant internal

J C Lawrence                           Internet: claw at null.net
(Contractor)                           Internet: coder at ibm.net
---------------(*)               Internet: clawrenc at cup.hp.com
...Honorary Member Clan McFUD -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

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