[MUD-Dev] Alignment & Introductions

clawrenc at cup.hp.com clawrenc at cup.hp.com
Wed Sep 3 18:12:36 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


In
<Pine.LNX.3.96.970825102022.2346A-100000 at Cust72.Max13.Dallas.TX.MS.UU.NET>,
on 08/26/97 
   at 12:21 AM, lapsos <root at TDK.earthlink.net> said:

>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. Simply what you believe in and what
>others believe in you.  When using alignment you usually must decide
>on whos views are correct.  

Or to rephrase, the essential question is one of definition.  What is
the definition of "alignment"?

Travis with his StarWars setting takes the case of alignment as being
a member of one camp or faction (Imperial, Rebel, etc) within the
game.  MUDs with religious systems often define alignment as adherance
to a particular god(s) via in-game ceremonies, prayers, and similar. 
This form can also be extended into more simple metrics of the XXX
actions move you towards the +ve end of the scale, YYY actions toward
the -ve end where the only real difference systems wise is that the
religion has been abstracted or virtualised into another more implicit
form (eg Island's "sin").  D&D has a concept of Good and Evil as
crossed with Lawful/Chaotic.  

I suggest that these are in fact three different beasts, the presence
of any of which does not exclude the presence of any of the others
(you can have a chaotic evil StarWars rebel for instance who prays to
the Great God GooGoo)  which need to be defined with different
terminology.  Additionally they also represent different viewpoints on
a character within the game:

The first represents membership or alliance with a grouping or force
within the game.  The second adherence to the preferences of a defined
diety.  The third a characterisation of behaviour and prediction of
internal motivation.  (Comments encouraged on this analysis, please).

I'd suggest that "factions" be used for the first form, "supporter" of
"affinity" for the second, and "alignment" for the third due to its
D&D holdovers and connotations.

--
J C Lawrence                           Internet: claw at null.net
(Contractor)                           Internet: coder at ibm.net
---------------(*)               Internet: clawrenc at cup.hp.com
...Honorary Member Clan McFUD -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...




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