[MUD-Dev] Character evolution

The Eternal City eternal at eternal.eternal-city.com
Fri Sep 5 00:15:37 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Thu, 4 Sep 1997 clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:

> >> Of all the membership of this list, other than myself and Nathan, are
> >> there __ANY__ not doing a fairly standard variation on a fantasy
> >> world?  
> >
> >I don't know if this qualifies for avoiding your definition of
> >'fairly  standard variation', but we are doing a fantasy world based
> >on ancient (Republican) Rome (the game is called The Eternal City). 
> I'm curious as to the extent of your approach.  What is the core of
> your interest in that period for the game?  What are the base
> mechanics which you think will provoke interest?

Mmm, where to begin?  I originally planned on doing a 'simulation' of
Republican Rome via a text-based role-playing game. I was talked out
of this by my partners mostly by the argument that fantasy sells and 
history doesn't (as well). I still plan to do this at some point (when
whether or not it sells isn't an issue :). 
So as far as 'extent' goes, there are two answers... We are using 
many aspects and social structures of Roman culture and politics from
that time period -- the senate, the magistracies, the military structure,
the social class structure (except for the role of women. We've
essentially eliminated that bias to allow women to fill any role in our
world's society). We are also trying to stick close (straying again only
slightly for playability -- e.g., we have a variety of lock mechanisms to
make the locksmithing skill more interesting) to the technology,
materials, architecture, etc. of the period. 
The reason I chose this setting is that it is an eminently suitable model
for a complete role-playing world, one in which politics, economics, 
military, and more traditional role-playing fare (adventure, skullduggery,
thieving, magic) all have a place. The political arena of Rome at
the time, especially, is utterly intriguing to me.
The second part of the 'extent' response is that we are trying to model 
a real world environment as much as possible. Although not nearly to
the extent of a PhysMUD++, we are putting as much effort into the physical 
environment as we are into, say, the skill system or other (what I'd call)
purely gaming features.
Part of what propelled me to do this (probably similarly to everyone
else on this list :) was the desire to create a world that went
beyond the traditional RPG fare. The 'whole world' syndrome, I suppose.
Key to this mechanically, in my mind, is to give the players IC tools
to be able to manipulate, in particular, the economics and politics of 
the world. Those would be the 'base mechanics' that will (hopefully)
provoke interest. If all else fails, we'll have another mud with a
mechanically interesting world and a neat skill system ;)

Scott Martins
Worlds Apart Productions

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