[MUD-Dev] Character evolution

Matt Chatterley root at mpc.dyn.ml.org
Sun Aug 17 10:40:07 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


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
> often, and get their hair cut (unless they wanted it long, in which
> case they would need to tie it back).  Shaving would be another option.

I believe someone else (Adam Wiggins?) is planning on this in some form -
since hair can have quite a profound effect on appearance (eg: I used to
have hair halfway down my back, now its nearly in a crew cut - I look
rather different). It causes problems (or rather changes) all over the
shop - nails break if they get too long, and are really annoying, for
instance.
 
> In addition, what about eating and drinking?  I think I have heard
> before the suggestion about players who eat pies all day should get
> fat...but has anyone actually coded anything like this?  You could
> in theory even code some sort of 'energy' system for players, so that
> players who don't eat enough - or just eat junk food - would get
> exhausted faster.  Chocolate would be great for a quick energy boost,
> but if you did it all the time your teeth would rot and you would
> start getting very fat.  Thus different food types could have different
> advantages and disadvantages.  Note also that chocolate is mildly
> addictive.

Nutrition is probably the most detailed element of this kind in my world.
The system tracks 'nutrition level', and 'hunger level' - you can eat a
big hunk of white bread smothered in butter and fill yourself up, but its
not necessarily very good for you. Weight, or rather, mass, will probably
fluctuate slightly if you don't eat (you will eventually become
emancipated, and can put on mass if you eat lots, too). Appetites will
increase if you eat lots usually, and decrease if you eat very little
usually (within reasonable boundaries). Nutrition itself is a race-reliant
thing, since slightly different vitamins are required. Each foodstuff has
a 'racial slant' and 'nutritional value' set, and you are given nutrition
based on your position in the race table, adjusted for this slant.

Putting on or losing body mass affects a number of things, and
malnutrition can be a killer.
 
> Age is another factor that could be taken into consideration.  As your
> character got older, your hair would go grey - maybe fall out - and
> your skin would wrinkle.  You would start losing attributes and maybe
> pick up some mental conditions.  Eventually you would die of old age.  
> This is one of the reasons I am thinking of using my mudsex/pregnancy/
> birth code for - so that players can 'prepare' their child (thus passing 
> on their skills and knowledge) for when they themselves die.  This would 
> effectively allow you to 'live forever' in theory, even though you
> would be living through several different people.  It would, however,
> require some planning by the player.

This is a goodly way of handling a 'permadeath' environment, whereby you
give existant players an advantage to represent their previous efforts,
too. Unless the timescale gets silly.
 
> 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).

Don't forget that well trained persons can exercise a great deal of
control over such bodily functions - and factor in fright. ;)

Regards,
	-Matt Chatterley
	http://user.itl.net/~neddy/index.html
"Speak softly and carry a big stick." -Theodore Roosevelt




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