[MUD-Dev] Character evolution

Matt Chatterley root at mpc.dyn.ml.org
Sun Aug 17 10:50:10 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Sat, 16 Aug 1997, Dan Shiovitz wrote:

> [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.]

Soitenly. There are some interesting points cropping up in rgma now and
then, but they are extremely easy to miss, and I think we steal most of
the good contributors anyway. This list is a good model of how I would
love rgm.design to turn out, if it were to pass. Rather fantastical for
usenet, though.
> 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.

It may do - but once players adjust to it, and realise the degree of
control it gives them, plus ways to turn it to their advantage, it could
get interesting. For instance a famous long haired, blond swordsman might
shave his head, and dunk the remains into some dye to facilitate part of a
> 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.

It depends really - it fits more into 'full emersion' atmospheres, and is
probably not something for all players. The big point that I have made is
with game play, in slanting towards *going on adventures* rather than
anything else, for the adventure types. This again is not for all players
- some like to "power mud", and others like "pure roleplay". It is for
people like me, though, and that is what really matters at the end of the

Since I'm getting a little off the subject - this also allows a good
interface to 'personal recognition' code. You might have a long beard,
stained blue with dye made from a flower (or somesuch), and be quite a
well known pirate for instance. Or confused for him.
> How much simulation you like is obviously a personal choice and is
> going to vary (incidentally, any of you read rec.games.frp.advocacy?

I haven't.. but I suspect I may now.

> 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

Yeah. To me getting the food stuff expanded was vital - it allows us to
put a time restriction on players adventuring. "Do you have enough
supplies?". Generalisation of commands, and items means that nonspecific
objects such as metal pitons and rope will be typically handy to have
around too. If you've ever played a D&D campaign that bordered on
hack'n'slash, thats vaguely the sort of feel I'm aiming for, because I
found it enormously fun.

> 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?

Heh. :)

Players will be at liberty to eat whatever they want - but if they don't
eat SOME good food, they will eventually run into problems. Oh, and they
need to eat things that won't make them ill, of course. Since you can cook
corpses (after cutting off suitable sized pieces if necessary), finding
meat is not too hard while adventuring - but if its kobold meat, and
you're human, you'll be out of action for a while with gastritis.

	-Matt Chatterley
"Speak softly and carry a big stick." -Theodore Roosevelt

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