[MUD-Dev] Attributes: Sanity

Holly Sommer hsommer at micro.ti.com
Mon May 11 15:13:25 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

This is something I just wrote up for the development project I am 
heading, and thought the idea had enough merit to warrant forwarding on 
to this listserv. Feel free to check the URL mentioned in the body of the 
text for clarification. (And thanks to John for showing me MHonArc :)


------Begin Forward-------

Well, nobody has commented on it yet (I sent a note out regarding sanity, 
as one of many definitions of concept terms I've come up with/come across 
- check http://www.mugs.net/~mugs/archives/msg00013.html to see them 
all), so, I am going to expand on an idea wrt this possible attribute.

I had written:
: Too much loss of sanity, however, results in negative effects like 
: paranoia and hallucinations - it tends to lower one's credibility and 
: reliability in the eyes of others.

The following scenario came to mind:

Newman's sanity has dropped just a bit too far. She and her party are
out carving a pathway through the woods, when suddenly, she cries out and 
draws her sword. The others in her group stand back, watching with varied 
degrees of trepidation, as she slashes at the air, dodging unknown foes. 
She grunts and doubles over in pain, and screams for help. Eventually, 
she falls to the ground, throwing her arms up in desparate self-defense. 
Everyone else stands around blinking, unsure what to make of the 
situation. She is obviously stunned, but appears unharmed.

>From Newman's point of view, this is what she saw...

> You swipe at the ground with your machete, clearing the path some more.
> Suddenly, a band of harpies swoops down from the trees overhead, their
  talons aimed directly at your throat.
> You drop your machete and draw your sword.
> A large harpie grazes your forearm, drawing blood and tearing your 
> Your slash lays a large harpie's wing open to the bone. She screams and 
  flies off. 
> A large harpie dives lower, butting you just under your ribcage. Oof. 
> You double up in pain, the wind knocked out of you.
> You drop to your knees, and yell for help from your companions.
> Flailing wildly, you land a few more hits on some large harpies, who are
  diving and smashing into your upheld shield. 
> That cut on your arm is starting to swell up some, but at least the 
  bleeding has stopped.
> Suddenly, the large harpies retreat back into the tangled forest ceiling.
> You feel stunned.

(At this point, nobody is quite sure what just did (not) happen. Newman 
 shows no physical signs of combat, because she just hallucinated the 
 whole affair. She feels beat-up, and looks at her party members with 
 worn-out astonishment.)

Qeaxl asks 'What are you DOING?'
Newman says 'I was *trying* to beat off those damn birds. Thanks for the help.'
Yoram asks 'What birds?'
Newman says 'the ones that did this...'
Newman holds up her arm.
Silt blinks.
Qaexl says 'Did what? There's nothing wrong with your arm.'
Newman looks at her arm.
Newman blinks.
Newman says 'uh... never mind, let's just keep moving.'
Newman blushes profusely.

This is an example of a reality check that failed for Newman :) Now, it 
was harmless, as this was just a combat in her mind, but if she thought 
that perhaps someone had told her the directions to a secret treasure, 
and she drew up a map for its location, to lead the party onward... well, 
that could have bad results for EVERYONE... or it could be good results, 
if indeed it was a leprechaun which had told her - see, as someone with 
low sanity, Newman would see and hear a valid leprechaun, but her party 
members who are 100% sane wouldn't... and might miss out on the pot of 
gold entirely :) It's a risk dealing with someone who is a bit low on 
sanity, but the things they can see and hear might very well be real... 
you can't tell (but then again, neither can they, sometimes) which is 
real and which is not :)

Sound fun? :) It does to me :)


MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

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