[MUD-Dev] Re: Character evolution

Jon A. Lambert jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com
Wed Aug 27 01:19:58 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On 26 Aug 97 at 18:54, clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:
> In <199708202315.QAA09616 at pc4.zennet.com>, on 08/20/97 
>    at 04:27 PM, "Brandon J. Rickman" <ashes at pc4.zennet.com> said:
> >A "lie" command would imply that the player-character is knowingly
> >presenting false information.  Have to practice those skills.  There
> >is a chance that other characters might catch the lie which might
> >lead to a situation. If all the player can do is just "say" things
> >then any action of lying is almost impossible to detect (short of a
> >natural language parsing AI). By using "lie" it is clear what the
> >_intention_ of the player-character is, which might just maybe be a
> >tiny little bit useful in some extremely rare situation. :)
> Hurm.  This rests upon another fundament is which appears to be a
> common point of disagreement between me and RP'ers.  Are you the human
> merely a background mentor for the character in the MUD, or is the
> character in the MUD merely a proxy for you the human (along with
> whatever personae etc you the human wish to assume)?  

Lie, Detect Lie and a number of similar skills, spells are present in
paper&pencil RPGs.  These are easily handled by a human gamemaster
because the GM is very likey aware of all the events that have
transpired and "knows" whether the character is attempting to lie.
Translation into a mud environment just might be impossible, as far as
automated game mechanics.  Unless players are willing to conciously
choose to use a "lie" command when they lie and "say" when otherwise. 
This is not an unreasonable burden for some RPing muds.

In fact in P&P sessions, the GM may ask the player if they are 
intending to lie if he's unsure.  Players will usually respond 
honestly (heh) to the query of whether they're trying to lie or not.

Rolemaster and other games are full of many of these "fuzzy" skills 
that don't translate easily into automated game mechanics. 

> To a certain
> extent this difference can be modelled by asking the question, "Does
> the character in the MUD have any cognitive and/or computational
> abilities outside of its human player?".  

One could say the player attempts to emulate the cognitive powers, 
that he believes the character to be endowed with.  And if the player 
is the one to create the character (not an NPC), they he can be said 
to endow those cognitive powers and only those powers he wishes the 
character to have.  They player could also be said to act as the 
character's AI with consciously imposed strengths and weakness in the

Some characters are easier than others.  The more familiar a role the 
the easier.  Playing a convincing intelligent Ganymedean slime mold 
can pose challenges for instance. 

> >...By using "lie" it is clear what the
> >_intention_ of the player-character is, which might just maybe be a
> >tiny little bit useful in some extremely rare situation. :)
> This I agree with, and like. but more in the context of the human
> knowingly attempting a snowjob which he wishes to have his character
> portray such that it might be detected thru mannerisms or body
> language (eg the wry lip quirk, the hidden chuckle etc).

Methinks he roleplays, even if he protests too much. 
Jon A. Lambert

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