[MUD-Dev] Character development [was Re: ]

Vadim Tkachenko vt at freehold.crocodile.org
Thu Apr 9 22:05:22 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

Travis Casey wrote:
> On Thursday, 9 April 98, Vadim wrote:
> > Travis S. Casey wrote:


> > Next flamebite, what is a definition of a guild? Why it is there? What
> > for? (I ask not because I don't know but because I want to analyze,
> > decompose and generalize that).
> Well, I think we all know what a traditional mud guild is -- basically
> a D&D-style class that characters may join after starting the game,
> and has the option of leaving.
> Now, what *should* a guild be... that's another question.  :-)

Exactly :-)

> Guilds have several aspects as they're traditionally implemented.
> They:
>  - give characters special abilities
>    As mentioned above, guilds in most muds are similar to D&D's
>    classes.  Hence, they determine what special abilities characters
>    have access to.  In a skill-based mud, this aspect could exist as
>    well, but would have to work in a different way -- for example, a
>    guild might be the only place that a character could learn
>    particular skills.

Okay, I've learned some special skills and gained some secret knowledge.
Then, I got banned from the guild. What happens?

Possible scenarios:
- nothing, except I've lost the source of knowledge, but I've preserved
all my acquired special abilities (unless they're defined by some
material components available only to the members);
- The guild starts to hunt for me, as for a possible information leak;
- You continue...

>  - provide a means for characters to advance

[agreed, skipped]

>  - are groups which characters belong to
>    Guilds give the players who are in them something in common.  In
>    addition to the mere fact of guild membership, the members share
>    the same special abilities; thus, newer members will tend to go to
>    more experienced members for advice on how to effectively use their
>    powers.

There's a fine line between IC and OOC communication levels - the
newbies will do that anyway, so I don't consider this aspect as

>    These groups can also provide a point of conflict between
>    characters who belong to different guilds, which can lead to more
>    roleplaying.

Like, can the Caballist be a Paladin? I have my own way of implementing
that - in short, in a actor/target/context scenario the effect and the
counter-effect will be determined based on the properties, and if it
happens, say, that the one who is a Caballist will try to perform some
good (positive-aligned) actions, the backfire will be tremendous, but
anyway one would be able to do that.

> So, what can we do from here?  What other things can we do to expand
> on the role of guilds?  Well, one thing springs to mind for me --
> traditionally, when a character leaves a guild, he/she loses all the
> powers of that guild.  However, in most cases, that doesn't make a lot
> of sense -- why should characters forget what they've learned from a
> guild because they leave it?

Exactly the point I mentioned above. Knowledge is a power, which is a
stat (property, as I put it), and it cannot be just taken away. There
are workarounds, though - say, some substance (as above) or, if it's a
religious guild, the influence of a certain god, but that's a different

> What if characters who left a guild could keep the powers gained, but
> were supposed to give up using them?  Those who didn't give them up
> would be considered to have defied the guild and become renegades.

And/or haunted, with a significant shift to the negative alignment, with
all the consequences. But then, also, alignment communities, if you
remember what I'm talking about...

Also, there's a complicated issue here - what is a generic mechanism
which will support the concept of 'didn't give up'? Or, more general,
for example, I know that killing someone innocent makes me more evil
(the detection is clear, just analyze the alignment), but what if for
some reason I'm not supposed to use this lamp as a nightpot (due to my
guild's rules), but I do?

See, here's a possibility to drown in an ocean of particular cases -
have anybody come up with a general solution for this problem?

>        |\      _,,,---,,_        Travis S. Casey  <efindel at io.com>
>  ZZzz  /,`.-'`'    -.  ;-;;,_   No one agrees with me.  Not even me.
>       |,4-  ) )-,_..;\ (  `'-'   visit the rec.games.design FAQ:
>      '---''(_/--'  `-'\_)       http://www.io.com/~efindel/design.html

Still alive and smile stays on,
Vadim Tkachenko <vt at freehold.crocodile.org>
UNIX _is_ user friendly, he's just very picky about who his friends are

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