[MUD-Dev] Alignment & Introductions

Matt Chatterley root at mpc.dyn.ml.org
Wed Aug 27 07:35:43 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Tue, 26 Aug 1997, Travis Casey wrote:

> > lapsos <root at TDK.earthlink.net> wrote:
> > 
> > Alignment.
> > 
> >   One problem i see with using Alignment is who is to say what is evil
> and
> > what isn't?  Even from a mud point of view you will have players/zones
> > based upon the belief that an iron fist is the true way of doing things,
> > and thus would be good to them.  While you will have others that believe
> > the opposite.  Some of the better ways i've seen to replace alignment is
> > Factions and Legacy.  With both these systems you don't have good or
> evil.


> First off, as someone else pointed out, in a fantasy world, there might
> *be* someone who can say what is evil and what isn't.

It was me - when crafting my theme, I deliberately created this situation
by having a 'disassociated observer' available for all appropriate
situations (and for some extremely interesting PC interaction later, I
> Secondly, there's no reason why alignment has to have anything to do with
> "good" and "evil".  On SWmud, we have three alignments:  Rebel, Neutral,
> and
> Imperial.  We're planning on adding a second "alignment dimension",
> separating
> Dark vs. Light for jedi from Rebel vs. Imperial.  D&D (as opposed to AD&D)
> has Lawful, Neutral, and Chaotic, with no Good or Evil.

Having alignments as soemthing abstract to the usual is a very good idea -
its actually not frought with troubles like the norm. You can be aligned
to one side, fairly regardless of how you act and behave (within reason),
because it could even be a social or more likely political alignment.
> Factions could *be* alignments.  On an espionage-themed mud, for example, 
> "CIA" might be an alignment.  Under such a system, a character might have
> multiple alignments -- for example, a double agent might have both "CIA" 
> and "KGB" alignments.  A freelancer who works for both the CIA and Mossad 
> might have those as alignments, but at a lower level than an agent of those
> agencies would have.

Definitely, see above.
> Similarly, in a mud based on Feudal Japan, your alignment might simply be
> whichever candidate for Shogun you're allied with -- or you could be allied
> with some other group, such as a ninja clan.
> On a more traditional fantasy mud, alignments could have to do with
> religions,
> guilds, and feudal lords.

Yup. More proof that alignment is a misnomer as commonly seen - taking the
political or factional sides of it make far more sense. Of course, if you
want a notion of good/bad, reputation is a good way to handle it from
multiple perspectives.
> These could be used in addition to a more traditional alignment system,
> and possibly interact with it.
> Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean that alignment should be kept, or
> that it should be treated the way it traditionally is in muds --
> personally,
> I find it rather silly that you can simply look at another character and
> tell whether he or she is good or evil.  A thought that I've had about how
> to handle this is to assign two values to alignments -- one based on how
> strongly the character really sways that way, and another based on how well
> known that is.  For *real* fun, you could have the second number come not
> from any game mechanic, but from input from other players -- thus allowing
> for smear campaigns, mistaken identity, and other fun things.

Definitely - I sent a longer post on reputations earlier, but having
players actually modify it directly or indirectly (something like the RP
point system that was discussed a while back) could be great to observe.

[Snip end]

	-Matt Chatterley
"Speak softly and carry a big stick." -Theodore Roosevelt

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