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

Cimri cimri1 at gte.net
Mon Apr 13 16:58:45 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

J C Lawrence wrote:
> On Thu, 9 Apr 1998 19:40:32  Travis Casey wrote:
> > 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.  :-)
> There is a more fundamental question that I raised the last time this
> area came up:
>   What problem in the game-universe is the guild an attempted solution
> for?
> Turning this around:
>   If there were no guilds, but everything else in the game was the
> same, would the players form "guilds" even without any server or
> hardcoded support?  If so, why?  What survival threat in the
> game-world would the players be attempting to mitigate or prevent via
> guilds?
One of my long-term beefs with mudding involves just this
topic: guilds.

[side note: I've been working on putting ALL these my beefs
together in a single huge document.  Illusions of grandeur
dance before my eyes as I envision this mighty tome slaying
all those beknighted mud-implementing misanthropes with its
blinding light of reason; Mud-dom would be raised to new
heights of playability, reason, etc.  Then I wake up.  But
to continue,--]

Okay, so guilds were some sort of institution in the
middle ages and somehow controlled or regularized the flow
of info/training or whatever, and presumably muds take
these as their inspiration.

But as Travis so wisely opines what *should* a guild be?
And as Chris/JC so pedantically (if accurately) inquires:
what problem do guilds fix? (paraphrased)

My thoughts on the matter --

  Forget built-in pre-defined guilds.  Throw 'em out.  They
  don't fix anything.  They often, if not always, reinforce
  the class systems I also don't like.  Away with them!

Now the problem I see that needs fixing --

  Formation of VAs (voluntary associations) such as factions,
  organizations, clubs, corporations, political parties, etc,
  grants no real benefit, and should.  So create systems and
  structures making VAs profitable, useful, interesting, 
  and then have some fun!

  In RL there are plenty of advantages to forming VAs.
  Influence is increased, resources are pooled, sharing
  is presumably enhanced resulting in increases in
  knowledge flow, and so forth.  VAs gain their own
  reputation.  VAs own things, control things, etc.
  In fact, few individuals own anything any more, at
  least anything of any real significance.  VAs _do_.

The fix, sorta --

  I propose that muds need to simulate these
  advantages in some concrete way, thus fostering the
  creation of VAs of ALL kinds, not just guilds 
  (and clans, e.g.)  Then players form their own VAs
  and own property, control areas, collect taxes,
  form militias, or do whatever concerted group activities
  the system might support.

Scenario --

  The fun I am looking for in a mud that implements a
  reasonable set of incentives for VAs would look something
  like this (with apologies to all concerned for not 
  immediately adopting the conventional BNF -- Bubba Naming

  JoeBlow forms his VA which is a secret organization
  inharmoniously named CAQL (Committee against the Queen
  and her Lackeys, pronounced 'cackle') which is
  dedicated to the downfall of the current Queen.

  Queen Hermione and her pals are already a VA of sorts
  (a political party) dedicated to running the country
  as Queen and adherents.  Their VA is called HUH
  (Hermione and her Underlings and Helpers).

  CAQL members are not known publicly.  HUH members use
  their powers to order searches ( by the palace guard,
  e.g.) for CAQL operatives.  Discovered evidence results
  in the palace guard's 'arrest on sight' list having new
  names on it.  CAQL agents on the palace guard act to
  plant false evidence incriminating loyal HUH members.
  HUH uses the influence of the queen to bribe their way
  into the hearts of many, while CAQL feeds on unrest and
  makes friends in the underworld-related VAs, for example.

  Rumors are spread discrediting dignitaries of both VAs,
  while allegiances switch dramatically.  Nobody can be
  totally sure of VA membership, or the loyalty thereof.
  Infiltration, backstabbing, disloyalty and collusion!

Now THAT's what I call fun.  Plenty of RP chances here too.

Jay // Cimri

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