[MUD-Dev] Character evolution

Travis Casey efindel at io.com
Fri Aug 29 20:34:01 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


Brian Price <blprice at bedford.net> wrote:
> 
> I have at various times toyed with the idea of a hard Sci-Fi mud 
> (sans psi aka magic) borrowing heavily from the Traveller rpg for the 
> overall game system.  I would like to implement such an mud if I 
> could get around a few nagging problems such as:
> 
>    If players have access to starships you _rapidly_ 
> run out of areas.  This leaves you with three basic choices:
> A. do not allow players access to starships
> B. use a plot mechanism which justifies a finite univerese
> C. use a random area generator
> 
> Choice A could lead to a very viable game, perhaps along the lines of 
> an aftermath scenario.. ie. starships don't exist.  However this is 
> personally unsatisfying as part of the lure for me of sci-fi is the 
> device of travelling between the stars.

[much cut]

There are ways of limiting access to starships other than eliminating
them... for example:

 - Starships cost huge amounts of money... the equivalent of millions
   or even billions of dollars today.  Thus, while they exist, PCs
   don't own them.  There might be "starship lines" which provide
   transport to the more populous worlds, and the possibility of
   chartering ships to worlds that aren't served by the normal lines.

 - Only one or two races have the technology to build starships...
   and the PCs can't be members of that race, and they don't sell
   ships to other races.  This creates the same situation as in the
   first idea.

I'm planning on using both for my mud... Earth won't have the tech
to build starships, and PCs wouldn't be able to afford them if they
did.  That still leaves room for us to build other worlds and have
PCs be able to get to them, but we can easily limit where they can
go.

However, there is another way to think about it... just don't worry
about it, and let suspension of disbelief handle it.  After all, even
in a medieval mud, you can't build all the places that the PCs could
get to if they wanted to in any reasonable amount of time... people
regularly made pilgrimages from England to as far away as Jerusalem.
Thus, it's really just an enlargement of something that already exists,
not a new problem.

On SWmud, we started out with about five worlds that players could go
to, and we're now up to about 25.  Even though we allow PCs to have 
ships, no one's ever complained about the universe feeling too small,
to my knowledge.
--
       |\      _,,,---,,_        Travis S. Casey  <efindel at io.com>
 ZZzz  /,`.-'`'    -.  ;-;;,_   No one agrees with me.  Not even me.
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