[MUD-Dev] Character evolution

Dan Shiovitz scythe at u.washington.edu
Sat Aug 16 23:01:42 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

[Hi folks .. I think this list is a great idea.  Too much crap on
rec.games.mud.admin, and it's not even *new* crap.]

On Sat, 16 Aug 1997, Richard Woolcock wrote:
> Okay we've talked about the world evolving, but what about players?
> I have often thought about coding it so that players hair/nails slowly
> grow, causing them social/combat problems unless they do something
> about it.  Players would therefore have to trim their nails every so

[hair growing .. aging.. getting fat from eating too much chocolate]

> There are other things that could be added also, although I wouldn't
> go so far as to code toiletries....as amusing as it would be to watch
> players 'nip off behind the bushes' before a fight, or wet themselves
> in combat if they didn't (and had recently drank a lot).
> Comments?

I've got a minor comment and a major comment. The minor comment is it
seems that this is going to involve the players giving up more control
over their appearance than they're probably used to; this may in turn
lead to people looking more alike than they would on other muds.

The major comment is that I can't really imagine playing this sort of
mud for long periods of time. It would be cool in the short term,
definitely. I'd dig being able to cut my hair and having it grow back,
and having to watch what I eat. It's hard to guess how it'd feel in
the long run, but I strongly suspect I'd dislike it for the same
reason that I dislike having to shave/trim my beard in real life: it's
too damn much work, and it's not that interesting to do.

How much simulation you like is obviously a personal choice and is
going to vary (incidentally, any of you read rec.games.frp.advocacy?
They're having a continuing discussion about three different
role-playing styles that have a lot of application to this stuff I'm
talking about now), but for me, there's no reason to add anything that
has no use in the game. You can add in hair and nail growth, but if
the only result is that I have to type "cut hair" and "clip nails"
every day or so, it's not going to add anything to my enjoyment of the
game. Food is a little more interesting .. I could see a game
stressing the importance of a varied diet: for one thing, this would
encourage trading between players ("Oh, you're a baker? I'll give you
some of the carrots I've grown for a few loaves of bread"), and it
also avoids the ("buy bread", repeat 10x, "eat bread", repeat 10x)
problem you get on most dikus. But again, I suggest thinking more
about how this'll feel to the players. It's enough of a pain to have
to floss after meals and do sit-ups to keep my flab down in real life;
why would I want to play an interactive flossing experience?

(But hell, what do I know? This has never been done before, AFAIK. 
code it up and I might well enjoy it a lot.)

> KaVir.
Dan Shiovitz :: scythe at u.washington.edu :: shiov at cs.washington.edu
"Alas, I do not rule the world and that, I am afraid, is the story
of my life: always a godmother, never a God."     -- Fran Lebowitz

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