[MUD-Dev] Character evolution

Travis Casey efindel at io.com
Mon Aug 25 22:55:51 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


> From: clawrenc at cup.hp.com
> 
> This raises a point I've been musing on for a while:
> 
>   The general approach (assumed orthodoxy?) of most of the list is to
> create a game world which largely resembles or simulates RL in terms
> of physical mechanics and such, and then attempts to extend it via
> magic, religion and other similar techniques to add a fantastical
> entertaining aspect.
> 
> This bugs me.  
> 
> I don't like the idea that I'm taking an incredibly flexible system
> and working like crazy to only implement a variation on the world I
> spend the rest of my waking hours in.  Why would I want to recreate RL
> with a twist?  Why not take advantage of the flexibility that is
> inherent in the system and create a different sort of universe where
> the base rules *really* are different.
> 
> A few ideas that have been dropped on the list afore:

[several ideas cut for space]

All of the ideas you presented are also worlds which simulate RL in
most ways, but vary it in others... they just vary things more than
the typical mud, or in ways that seem strange to most people.

I can't think of *any* SF or fantasy world that doesn't mostly 
resemble RL, and I think there's a good reason for that.  Quite
simply, if you came up with a world that was different from RL even
down to the basics, there would be no frame of reference for readers
or players to understand things -- the only real possibility would be
to start things off with a long lecture about what the basic rules of
this world are.  Even then, most people probably wouldn't be able to
"wrap their heads around it."

The closest things I can think of to worlds which are fundamentally
different from the real world that we're all familiar with are parts
of the real world that none of us really have direct experience with --
namely, relativity and quantum mechanics.  Each of these seems very
strange to humans at first glance, simply because things moving at
relativistic speeds or existing at quantum scales don't work the way 
we intuitively think of things as working.

Imagine, for a few minutes, what the world would be like if relativity
existed exactly as it does now, but the speed of light was only 40
kilometers per hour (~25 miles per hour, for those who aren't comfortable
with the metric system).  Or, imagine if quantum effects showed up on
a human scale -- if you sometimes found yourself on the other side of
a wall, simply because your location was only probabilistic.  Either of
these "worlds" is far more different from the real world than any SF or
fantasy world I can remember -- but both still strongly resemble the
real world.
--
       |\      _,,,---,,_        Travis S. Casey  <efindel at io.com>
 ZZzz  /,`.-'`'    -.  ;-;;,_   No one agrees with me.  Not even me.
      |,4-  ) )-,_..;\ (  `'-'        rec.games.design FAQ:  
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