[MUD-Dev] Character evolution

Caliban Tiresias Darklock caliban at darklock.com
Sun Aug 17 14:56:57 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Sun, 17 Aug 1997 05:01:44 PST8PDT, Richard Woolcock
<KaVir at dial.pipex.com> wrote:

>> 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.
>Hmmm I remember the previous conversations about having different types
>of constition - being able to shrug of pain, being able to look at blood
>and gore, etc...well how about another for eating?  Thus most people in
>high society wouldn't be able to stomach food that wasn't cooked perfectly,
>whilst a hardened survivalist would be quite happy to eat raw fish and
>maggots and pretty much anything else that was actually 'edible'.

Additionally, someone with skill in cooking (common in tabletop RP, rare
on MUDs) could make food out of damn near anything. While the hardened
survivalist (survival skill, obviously) would take the kobold meat raw
and just pig it down, a more sophisticated party might pass the kobold
corpse on to their cook, who would then rummage in his bag of herbs and
spices and proceed to prepare a tasty dish reminiscent of a strong
sausage... obviously, this would give a reason for cooks in the party.
If there is a high-society type in the group, then he can't very well be
expected to pig down raw kobold meat -- he needs his cook along, to make
the food palatable. Likewise, the cook would either be accompanied by
some sort of valet, or be expected to serve the same purposes. ("Tie my
own shoes?! What do you think I am, some common peasant?" "Of course
not, your Grace. Most peasants don't HAVE shoes...")

I'd suggest an 'edibility index'. Any given type of food is X percent
edible -- with a cook adding that percentage of his cooking skill to it,
and a survivalist likewise. (Poison is poison, and rotten is rotten. You
can't just take tree bark and turn it into a feast; if it's 10% edible,
you get to add 10% of your skill to it -- even the best cook can never
more than double the edibility. And no survivalist can reasonably expect
to go out and eat poison ivy for a week.) So for example, if you have
the kobold meat at say edibility 30, with 0 being 'makes you terribly
ill to the point of potential death' and 100 being 'fantastically good,
they charge a lot for this at the tavern' (50 lying in the middle, it's
edible and rather good), then a middling cook (skill of 50%) could add
15 to the edibility for a 45 -- or something reasonably edible, not
exactly *good*, but certainly decent. A reasonable survivalist (skill
also 50%) would then be able to tack another 22 onto that for a 67;
while the rest of the party might be going 'hmm, it's all right I
guess', the survivalist would be pretty pleased with it and go back for
seconds raving about how good it is.

In addition, people in high society could have more 'distinguished'
palates, and those who grub around in the dirt for roots and berries
would be more tolerant of low quality food; perhaps a 'fussiness'
statistic could be kept, indicating the personal tastes of the
character. Any given item which is more than 10 points below your
fussiness in edibility will lower your fussiness by one point; more than
ten points above, fussiness rises by one point. In this way, a character
develops a standard. While physical effects are based on the flat scale
of 0 to 100, actual messages and descriptions of the food's quality are
based on (fussiness - 50) to (fussiness + 50). The survivalist who has
been surviving on maggots and beetles (edibility rating 15) for years
(survival skill 80%, end edibility rating 27) might have a fussiness of
30, and therefore think kobold meat is just fine the way it is; when
confronted with the above kobold meat prepared by a fair cook (edibility
45), his skill in survival places that meal at an edibility of 81.
That's the equivalent of over 100 to the average person, so he's going
nuts ranting and raving about how great it is. In the meantime, the
nobleman in the party might have a fussiness of 86 (well, 85 now -- the
meal drops his fussiness by 1 point), and think this meal is quite
disgusting. (45 edibility - 86 fussiness + 50 = subjective edibility
rating 9... around the level of, say, acorn shells or old bones.) While
it might not make him *sick*, it will certainly distress him greatly.

 You see me now, a veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I've been 
 living on the edge so long, where the winds of limbo roar. And 
 I'm young enough to get involved, too old to see, all the scars 
 are on the inside; I'm not sure that there's anything left of me
               -- Blue Oyster Cult, "Veteran of the Psychic Wars"

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