[MUD-Dev] Re: MURKLE: Wot it is

Ling K.L.Lo-94 at student.lboro.ac.uk
Thu May 28 19:46:05 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Tue, 26 May 1998, J C Lawrence wrote:
> On Sat, 23 May 1998 15:12:40 +0100 (BST) 
> Ling <K.L.Lo-94 at student.lboro.ac.uk> wrote:
> > On Fri, 22 May 1998, J C Lawrence wrote:
> >> Ahh, but I need and want the wild population swings -- that is
> >> precisely the idea of the entire system (even outside of the TC's).
> >> The problem I have is that the TC population explodes and collapses
> >> a few times to result in their entire world drowning in TC spores.
> >> The problem is that the population collapses are thru starvation
> >> not predation, the rate of TC spore release on starvation death is
> >> too high, and too little that consumes TC spores.


> > TC's encountering larvae will not consume larvae (canabalism
> > encourages parasites or species specific pathogens).
> Consume != kill.  cf most felines (lions, house cats etc), the males
> of which will deliberately stalk and kill the kittens of other males
> (genetic necessity -- returns female to heat sooner).  There's been
> some quite ugly and fascinating film work done on the are BTW with
> feral and farm cats.

Truth is stranger than fiction and all that...  I suppose TC's killing
larvae would also be good in a way coz it'll be a self-regulating
system.  TC's cleaning up other TC's at an earlier stage would enforce a
'season'.  Might feel strange to see a TC larvae coming out of its shell
and proceeding to kill its siblings.  Maybe if it wasn't inclined to
killing TC shells...

> > Population explosion as per usual when TC's are meandering around.
> Okay, now what kills the population explosion?

This is where I made too many assumptions.  I assumed that unstable meant
once the spores hatched, the TC's had a knack of consuming everything in
sight causing a massive population explosion.  When there was no food,
they all die horribly.  What did you mean 'unstable' in your original
Murkle post? 

Also, is the desired population explosion supposed to last a couple of TC
lifetimes at most or span several TC lifetimes?  (The latter being much

> > Could you expand upon your intended behaviour of the spores?
> Spores exist for several reasons:
>   1) To allow TC's to be easily transported in quantity.
>   2) To allow TC's to lay fallow ala seeds (not enough local resources
> available, but spores/seeds will germinate when resources are
> available (it rains)).
>   3) To cause population explostions to be followed by later smaller
> after-shock booms as the TC spore population mass-hatches, dies,
> hatches, dies etc down to the bottom of the curve.

Had a strange idea of sorts: Magical objects require mana maintanence.
Some of the mana is sucked up from the environment.  This would cause a
small delta of mana flowing in from the region around.  Loose spores
gently roll with the flow (mana wind).  Unfortunately, an artifact
requiring massive amounts of maintenance would suck up spores from the
entire region (having said that, the spores would sprout asap).

(3) is quite difficult to simulate...  Hmmm...  I'll go home and doodle on
it for a while.  May end up to be one of those trial and error things... 

> > A larvae stage would emphasis a slower build up and making the
> > spores not hatch might get the players to appreciate life without
> > TC's. Unfortunately, I'm relying on some sort of season, like a
> > nature mana cycle.  I can't run a seasonless simulation in my head.
> Seasons, ala winter, could kill off weaker TC's as a form of predator...

Didn't expect you to like the idea of an external clock governing the
system.  In any case, something like winter would probably be too long
unless you have 5 minutes real time representing 1 day game time ratio.

> > cf Shadowrun.
> ???

Sorry, this was a bit too obscure. :)  Someone once told me that the 
Shadowrun's explanation for 'goblinization', when a quarter of the world's
population started morphing quite painfully into one of the mythical races
(elves, dwarves, orcs, etc), was due to mana cycles.  When the global mana
level dropped, dragons and such went into hibernation.  Within the really
big mana cycle is a lot of smaller mana cycles, and so on (akin to days,
years, that 11 yr period of the Sun and ice ages - seasons within

  |    Ling Lo of Remora (Top Banana)
_O_O_  Elec Eng Dept, Loughborough University, UK.     kllo at iee.org

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