[MUD-Dev] Re: Character evolution

Matt Chatterley root at mpc.dyn.ml.org
Wed Aug 27 17:46:34 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


On Tue, 26 Aug 1997 clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:

>    at 12:32 PM, Matt Chatterley <root at mpc.dyn.ml.org> said:
> 
> >Entire text quoted because it makes a few nice points. This sums up
> >my motivations in going with a "reputation" system - a basically good
> >person could have an awful reputation and so forth; plus it provides
> >a medium to track notoriety/fame.
> 
> How does your notoriety handle the case of:
> 
>   Bubba is a successful <whatever> in town.  He also has a double
> life.  He regularly goes on extended hunting trips, or business/trade
> trips to other parts of the world.  He works hard to keep his route in
> such travels to low population areas.  He murders anyone he finds as
> long as he can assure himself that no-one saw him with the victims. 
> He sells the victim's EQ to a variety of fences scattered in various
> parts of the land, __always__ with a minimum of a 6 month MUD time lag
> between the murders and the sale to a fence fo any given EQ.
> 
> The basic idea is that Bubba is a pretty nasty sort who paints a very
> good face.  Under your system, and JeffK's for that matter, what is
> his reputation?

This depends on how good he is at hiding his nasty side! If he is very
successful, he would simply have a reputation fitting what he is - the
best darned baker in town, or a rich merchant. He's unlikely to be
particularly famous, or well known very far from home - which to him is
desirable.
 
> Variation on a theme:
> 
>   Identical to the above, except that now Bubba strangles beggars he
> finds in alley-ways in the city with no witnesses present.

Although this would be harder for him to conceal, there wouldn't really be
much difference on the reputation face of it.
 
> >Something important of note is that while players can get an idea of
> >their reputation (by little signs - if you hear good songs about
> >someone who sounds like you, after a great deed, it might be you, and
> >from more obvious references by shopkeepers and so forth), but can
> >never have an idea of their actual alignment. It might be better
> >considered an 'aura' of some sort.
> 
> Okay:
> 
>   Bubba is a generally, Okay-sh sort of character, not to good, not
> too bad.  One day he's out and about and discovers a Super-Whammy
> Sword.  He then wanders into a fairly sizeable town and slaughters
> every soul therein.  No survivors.  None.  Nada.  Zip.  Perhaps a
> dragon comes along as well and eats the corpses and burns the place to
> the ground after the fact.
> 
> What is Bubba's reputation?

Once the news gets around that Bubba did this? He'll be known for a
considerable distance as a mass murderer of sorts, and probably won't
survive very long, depending on how brave any remaining mercenaries or
guards in the region are - or on who wants his sword!
 
[Snip]

> What is his reputation?
> 
> That point I am heading towards here is that reputation is dependant
> on perception.  The fact that Bubba takes off on a long voyage and
> appears later as the only survivor does not mean that Bubba is a
> murderous cannibal.  It may merely mean that he was a lucky survivor
> who managed to scrape through desperate times.  He could also be a
> murderous cannibal.  The key element is perception.  Is Bubba
> perceived to be a murderous cannibal, and if so, why?  Is it because
> his can looks suspiciously like a set of femurs nailed together?  Or
> his satchel has a similar scar in the leather to Boffo's tattoo?  What
> sets and changes the _perception_?

This is the only hard bit - I take perception from one angle only; that of
the 'public face'.

Regards,
	-Matt Chatterley
	http://user.itl.net/~neddy/index.html
"Speak softly and carry a big stick." -Theodore Roosevelt




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