[MUD-Dev] New topic: AI and NPCs

Travis Casey efindel at io.com
Tue Aug 26 19:39:13 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

Caliban Tiresias Darklock <caliban at darklock.com> wrote:
> I used to run an AD&D adventure at conventions which illustrated, in my
> mind and several others, the exact failings of most online RPGs,
> computer RPGs, and the vast majority of DMs. I'll lay out the general
> structure of this adventure as background, but refrain from war stories
> and specific instances.

[details of creating characters, the opposition, and how the game was
run cut.]

> The problem we were pointing out was that kobolds, weak as they are,
> have an intelligence rating of 'average' in the Monster Manual. They
> don't charge headlong into combat. They have actual tactics. They
> operate as a group. And they're fiendishly efficient at guarding their
> homes. Which brings me to the actual question, finally.

I've often read about these kinds of scenarios, and I'd like to make a
couple of observations:

- The kobolds have an advantage, in that they're all being played by
  one person.  Thus, they can act with near-perfect coordination, while
  most likely the players haven't had a chance to learn to work as a
  team -- even if their characters have been working as a team for
  years or even centuries.

- Kobolds may have average intelligence, but tech level and culture
  should be considered.  Did humans in medieval times build defenses
  anywhere near as elaborate as these kobolds, or have military units
  that acted with that level of coordination?  After all, humans have
  average intelligence too.

- While it's easy to imagine elaborate defenses and battle plans for
  the kobolds, to be realistic, you have to consider whether they could
  actually carry them out.  Building traps and such takes time and 
  labor -- and the kobolds still have to find food, eat, sleep, have
  and raise little kobolds, and carry on the other necessities of

In short, while I think such things are interesting examples of what
low-powered monsters can do under the right conditions, they're not
       |\      _,,,---,,_        Travis S. Casey  <efindel at io.com>
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