[MUD-Dev] Re: Character evolution

Jon A. Lambert jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com
Wed Aug 27 00:08:04 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


On 26 Aug 97 at 18:37, clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:
> I am sufficiently uncomfortable (can you say "allergic reaction"?)
> with the concept of attempting to embed a concept of "good" and "bad"
> or "good" and "evil", let alone any sort of morality or ethical
> structure (note: ethics != morals), that I wouldn't touch this with an
> infinite lever.  This is not to say that such morality games are not
> fair grist for a MUD, indeed they are, but I see them as things to be
> embedded in the social constructs of the world, not within the base
> mechanics of the game.  

I see alignment as far as player vs player interaction to be a fluid
concept and relying on player perception.  As such it is not commonly
revealed to other players.  Evil persons generally don't go around 
proclaiming their evilness.  If they did, their lives become 
shortened.   It is also handy background information in RP for a 
player assuming the role of an NPC which they might not be familiar 
with.

Now as a game construct.  

Many environments have spells that allow others to know the true 
nature of the one being casted upon.  This might be to determine if 
one is cursed, possesed, etc.  Certain deities require clergy to be 
faithful in many respects and may well be assumed to watch over all 
actions the character engages in, whether seen by mortal eyes or not. 
This is all thematic and could have game mechanic implications with 
spells or magic channeling from the deity reduced or increased.

Another possible use is with NPC AI, if you consider the NPC AI
engines to be part of game systems.  Certain acts witnessed may be
judged to be evil or good within the framework of the theme and 
the NPC should respond appropriately to according to their own 
nature.  

What if one had unicorns present in their mud world and wished
them to flee upon encountering adventurers, unless said character
was a maiden, pure of heart, and virginal.  How unicorns determine
this is beyond my understanding.  If one assumes they unerringly
accomplish this, then they would need to check the sex, the true
alignment, and virginity of said character.  Assuming one has
implemented a virginity attribute for characters this is easy,
otherwise our poor unicorn must search the character logs for
contrary evidence.  (I see a thread on Virginity in muds in the
works...Stop it...And now for something compleatly different...)   

> The recent [later] discussion of support for rape and other offensive
> actions touches on this implicitly.  The offense of rape is not a game
> construct, it is not a question of game mechanics or physical world
> simulation.  It is a question of __personal__ reactions, ethical
> standards, moral codes, and other questions of individuals and their
> groups.  It is not a question of mechanics -- that's reserved for
> things like: if I let go of an apple, will it drop?

I can see conception as a valid game mechanic.  How one goes 
about bringing it about is best left to PvP interaction.  The game
system might take over at some point to create the new characters or 
generate their stats if genetics are used. 

Remember the AmalgaMud specs posted back in March.  (These weren't 
part of the archives, I could only find my post referencing the 
following sections), I'd be interested in seeing section 10 again
as I don't have it handy.

> 10.4        Mobile Reproduction
> 10.4.1        Character Reproduction
> 10.5        Mobile Generating Plants

If I recall mobiles actually wandered about and when they collided
in private areas and other conditions were right, they uh, copulated,
and produced offspring.  I don't recall how character reproduction
worked. 

> I'll get back to this more when I reply to the recent rape threads.

Oh dear. 
Jon A. Lambert



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