[MUD-Dev] New topic: AI and NPCs

Alex Oren alexo at bigfoot.com
Thu Aug 28 12:41:28 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Wed, 27 Aug 1997 09:17:21 PST8PDT, Caliban Tiresias Darklock 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.

<snip character generation and monster description>

} The way the game ran was somewhat complex. Two hotel rooms were used,
} generally separated by a good distance and often on separate floors. I
} was in one room with the party. My co-DM was in the other room, equipped
} with one of a pair of walkie-talkies. I had the other.

I suspect the separation was to prevent cheating by the DM?


} 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.

I rutinely used organized groups of "weaker" monsters (<= 2HD) of average
intelligence to remind my players of their place in (the bottom of) the food
Made for much more interesting games.

} Has anyone managed to implement something resembling tactical intellect
} in MUD mobs? I've been thinking about this sort of halfheartedly,
} lately, and considering that this sort of thing isn't often seen. There
} are several very simple tactical maneuvers which appear at first blush
} to be rather easy to implement -- selection of targets, for example. In
} most D&D style games, the creatures should concentrate on removing
} single targets rather than spreading attacks: a wounded creature hits
} just as hard as a healthy one, but a dead one doesn't hit at all. In
} systems where spellcasting can be easily disrupted, such disruption
} should attract at least one creature's efforts. Different methods would
} fit different creatures, such as some who would target the weakest
} creatures first to thin the numbers rapidly and then retreat, while
} others might attack the strongest creatures first in order to simplify
} the extermination of the entire group. 

Poison.  Traps.  Ranged weapons.  Diversions.  Stealing/damaging equipment.
Combined fighter/spellcaster groups.

Have fun,

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