[MUD-Dev] Re: PK and my "Mobless MUD" idea

John Bertoglio alexb at internetcds.com
Tue Apr 28 21:59:13 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

-----Original Message-----
From: Jay Sax <cimri1 at gte.net>
To: mud-dev at kanga.nu <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Date: Tuesday, April 28, 1998 6:02 PM
Subject: [MUD-Dev] re: PK and my "Mobless MUD" idea

>Re: PK's plus my "Mobless Mud" concept
>John Bertoglio wrote:
>> Method 1: Create IC PK restrictions which make the PKer decide to
>> RP monsters.
>> Method 2: When a character racks up a certain number of kills
>> morph them into a junior monster.
>> John Bertoglio
>> --
>Ha! thanks john, I love this one about junior monsters and so forth.
>It inspires me to share one of my ideas which I hope I, or some of
>the other fruitful-brainers among us can develop further at some
>I call this one "the mobless mud" (aka "the monsterless mud").
> why even worry about repops, monster-generators,
> dungeons that have good motivations, cities that 'work' economically
> and logically (proper amount of land under tillage, good water
> supply, mining nearby, workers in the trades, etc)?  Why not just
> set up all the systems properly and let all this stuff develop?
>Implementation, broad stroke:
>  Inhabit your world with
>   - animals of various sorts (few in number at first)
>   - a few people
>   - resources (minerals, water, herbs, grains, whatever)
>   - terrain features (rivers, mountains, valleys, whatever)
>   - climate

>  Painstakingly define rules for all the above to make them
>   more or less self-sustaining in a simulation sort of way, to wit:

Some good ideas here but doing this *right* will run you right into the "UO
Wall". The failure of *realistic* economic models is based on two major

(1) Players will screw it up. UO had a great system on paper. But players
messed it up by hoarding creatures in stables and a host of other goofy

(2) If you could pull it off, we would have to recommend you to the Nobel
commitee for consideration for the economics prize.

>   - herd growth, predation, animal husbandry, and so forth

This is tricky...I actually use a simple "If you hunt in the savanna you
might get a shot at a lion" system. It works ok and it feels right. I don't
want to control the lives of the (literly) millions of animals and
creatures need to populate my world.

>   - plant growth, spread, disease, whatever
Same thing here but I really like the idea of gradual change in flora and
(therefore) fauna. Moving zones of crisis could be easy to model on a
region by region basis. But here again, I don't want to know that there are
14 sprigs of green mint in this area now and 13 after you harvest one.

>   - climatological change, growth, decay, storm formation,

This is cool. There must be models for this kind of thing. Anyone know a
site for generating global and regional weather patterns?

>     all that sort of thing (and seasons too I guess)

Gotta have seasons...how else would you know what herbs to look for? I got
permission from a fellow with a huge database of real and fantasy herbs to
use it in my world. It allows you to select by terrain and/or season and
rarity to determine what herbs are available.

>  Again with rules, this time for combining, breaking apart,
>   building, etc:

You got to take a look at UO here. Maybe Designer Dragon (Raph) can get you
a *deal*. The system they have ended up with is very clever. Look at the UO
website and then at some of the key fan sites. Send a note to my son Alex
and he can email you all the hot sites. If you can wade through the goofy
kid-stuff there are some very interesting discussions and variations
suggested for implemtation. A lot of good (and of course, many more bad)

>   - surveying, mining, smelting, etc.

We are doing an interesting thing here. You use your prospecting skill to
look for a mine. The world has no idea if there is a mine there until it is
prospected. Then the numbers are checked according to the type of terrain
and a mineral profile for that site is created. The prospecting skill
determines whether you find it or not. If not the next person who tries
might find it. If you are successful you get a bonus of x ingots of the
native material (not ore) as a "first guy in the gold rush" bonus. You name
the mine which is now a hole in the ground with a sign over it. There is
also an initial mine shaft. Pick up your mining tools and start digging.
The mine has a richness value and depletion number. You can mine
n-w-s-e-u-d. As you dig, you turn dirt into ore. When you depleate the ore
in a particular direction a new shaft is dug. Enter that shaft and start
digging. Little by little the mine depleates. Finally, you have a tunnel
complex that winds inside a mountain or hill. Give it some time and it will
become home to all kinds of bad guys....instant dungeon!

One point I am unsure of. I want to create situations where players stake
out turf and defend it. Along those lines, I was thinking that players with
poor mining skills would deplete the mine at the same rate as those with
good skills. This way, skilled miners would have a IC reason to keep out
the "furiners" and defend their claim. Any opinions?

>   - blacksmithing, coppersmithing, fletching, whatever
>     (and not just for weapons and armor of course)
>   - woodcutting, carving, lamination, warping, and all that
>   - plant, plow, harvest, etc.
Got a little problem with agriculture...bit tame for most folks, but I am
sure someone cleverer than me could do it.
>   - construction and destruction (walls, buildings, carts, etc)

You bet. First thing one of my player groups would want to build is a
stockade. Cut down enough logs, have some rope and other tools and you have
a safe place to log out...

>  Define rules for voluntary associations (guilds, factions,
>   clubs, whatever)

As long as the rules are governed by the logic of the server. I have rules
like: "You can't kill shopkeepers".

>   - social status and standing, reputation, etc

Take it even further. Create a IC (and PoG) reason to eat drink and be
merry. Some NPC's will work for free for a PC with a reputation as a Party

>   - fun social activities like creating/quashing rumors,

To me commercial success in my project would be when I made enough profit
to hire FT GM's. A live GM could do amazing things.

>     status decay/enhancement, smears, you name it.
>   - hired/hireling relationships

A lot of this stuff is in UO. Some of it is very well done.

>   Define rules for activities that can create 'monsters' --

>   e.g. unholy magics that summon warped demonic presences, or
>        pseudo-scientific processes designed to do the medieval
>        equivalent of gene-tailoring to create new species.
>Hoped for result:
>  You want a dungeon? you build one.

Or you let it build itself. Or you say every town had a
dungeon/catacomb/sewer. Seed it and watch it grow when the town is
established. That is, one day the number of square meters of buildings hits
a certain limit and , boom, new stuff is discovered.

>  You want a castle, you get the money (or influence over a
>  large enough group, or both), you get the materials,
>  you build it, you staff it, you protect it.

Again, see UO. The trick here is to deal with the fact that players come
and go and might not be there to use their I (as opposed to the NPC AI) to
defend their realm.

>  You want the mighty stone of irresistable magic force? great,
>  so once you've got it, you create a fortress or dungeon to protect
>  it, fully staffed with defenders and laden with traps and the like.
>  And you make sure there's food and water and proper pay for all
>  these.  Or maybe you try to create slave-beings using those
>  unholy magics.  Hey!  cheap work.
Another world building point: People got to eat. You can't begin to model
an economy without creating a daily market for non-durables.
>  I'd like to see this implemented.  Or something similar.  It seems
>  to me if one simply steps back far enough by creating all the
>  systems to support creation, combination, fabrication,
>  experimentation, discovery and all those neat things so many of
>  us love to do, then let the world be defined by those systems.

This has been a constant theme from JC and JL. I have just one design

"Does this (feature, idea, coding, graphic, etc) advance the feeling that
you are living  and moving through a fantasy world of heroic fiction."

Econometrics is an interesting subject, but my mud is not about graduate
level social research, it is about fun. When I get some more time I will
explain my concepts about how you can model time synro in a world which has
primary areas 20 km across and also traditional mud rooms as small as one
meter. (Hint: You don't even try!)
>  I'd LOVE to play in a world like that.  I think!  Or at least to
>  have the chance.  And I've given a lot of thought to the social
>  aspect and think that it could go a LONG way to making things fun
>  (with institutions, status, reputation, influence, etc).
Give a few more months.

You have some great ideas.

>- --
>  Jay Sax                             <arnet is moving, back soon!>
>  Partner, Alternate Reality Net      cimri at technologist.com
>   Jay Sax                             cimri at technologist.com
>+- Partner, Alternate Reality Net -----------------------------------+
>MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

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