[MUD-Dev] Re: CGDC, a summary

J C Lawrence claw at under.engr.sgi.com
Wed May 20 10:13:38 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Mon, 18 May 1998 10:46:56 -0700 
Koster, Raph<rkoster at origin.ea.com> wrote:

> Under this new system, everyone is an "Innocent" at first. Doing
> damage to an innocent (either directly or via first-order indirect
> agents (walls of fire spells, pets or hirelings, summoned creatures,
> etc) that contributes towards their death results in a chance for
> the victim to report you, and contribute money towards an eventual
> bounty. Five reports, and you're not an Innocent anymore. You're a
> Murderer, show with red all over you to others (you become a big
> target), and will start to incur serious penalties between 5 and 20%
> of all stats and skills) when you die until such time as you are no
> longer a murderer (a lot of playtime can reduce killcount by
> 1). Kill a murderer, take his head to any city guard in the game,
> and get the money players donated towards that person's bounty.

Translation:  You have created a framework which allows system-based
public record keeping for vigilante justice.  You have also officially 
sanctioned bounty hunters.  Interesting.  Players carrying heads are
now the most valuable targets in the game.  

Can only those who have been killed by a character donate to the
bounty against them?  Allowing others to donate would encourage
gang/capo-style tactics to be used to set and maintain bounties on
unewlcome individuals. for which the political ends could be

Can a victim donate to his killer's head price more than once (eg
report and make a small donation, come back later and donate more,
etc)?  This opens the possibility to rabble rousing, donation drives
("Help set a high price on XXX's head!"), and bounty scams (set up a
murder, make a drive for a high bounty, then go kill him/youself).  

What determines the "chance" that the victim has of making a report?

Can you take the head to any guard in any city?  Why virtualise it to
that extent?  Why not have the bounty tied to the city the report and
bounty donation was made at, such that a grevious killer may then have
multiple bounties at multiple cities (translation: localised
notoriety).  Further (I don't know if you haven't done this), if you
make the heads persistent objects, and especially if you do the
multiple city idea, the heads themselves become a form of bankable
currency.  It becomes easy to see heads being stashed and traded as a
compact and portable means of representing considerable $$$ sums.
Create twisted and devious means to recover a head from a city (guard)
once it has been turned in for the bounty, and you create a whole new
sub-game of retrieving heads and milking their multi-city bounty.

First thought exploit:

  I really don't like Bubba.  Let's make some throw-away characters
that go and attack Bubba and then walk on his sword (ie I start the
fight but ensure he kills me).  He'll be a Murderer in no time!  

Second thought exploit.

  I need more money.  I'll set up a character, kill a bunch of people, 
and then kill one of my own characters, do a rabble rouse to raise
bounty money before I log my final report against him, and then go
killmyself at leisure to collect the bounty.

> In addition, there's the "gray area" stuff. These are handled by
> putting a 2 minute window of vulnerability on people who do
> questionable activities, which we term flagging someone "criminal." 

What exactly is a "window of vulnerability"?  Does this mean they are
fair game and can thus be killed without stat/kill-count penalty?
Oooo!  Talk about a delightful con-man setup...

> On the other hand, it took a programmer a solid three months full
> time to catch all the possible wrinkles in the reputation
> system. The curse of a complex environment is the number of ways
> players can do harm to one another by indirect means...


J C Lawrence                               Internet: claw at null.net
(Contractor)                               Internet: coder at ibm.net
---------(*)                     Internet: claw at under.engr.sgi.com
...Honourary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

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