[MUD-Dev] Re: Prescience Rules? [Previously submitted under wrong thread :( ]

Dan Shiovitz dbs at cs.wisc.edu
Thu Jun 18 15:35:24 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Thu, 18 Jun 1998, Richard Woolcock wrote:
> Dan Shiovitz wrote:
> > 
> > On Wed, 17 Jun 1998, Larry Homer wrote:
> > > Relating to my query of a few days back about the proper regulation of
> > > IC Telepathy, I now would appreciate hearing about anybody's experience
> > > with regulating IC Prescience!
> > [..]
> > > If we assume that "Prescience" in a given theme means, "Occasionally
> > > sees visions that WILL occur," as opposed to "Sees visions that will
> > > PROBABLY occur if things keep going the way they have been going, etc.,"
> > > then you get into all sorts of knotty questions about predestination and
> > > unavoidable doom versus free will and chaos theory.
> > >
> > > So how do you handle it when your theme requires Prescient Characters?
> > [..]
> > 
> > Suggestion #1: change the theme. seriously. there is some stuff that
> >                just doesn't work well without OOC negotiation, which
> >                most muds aren't designed around. Telepathy and
> >                Prescience and "Detect Lie" are examples.
> I cannot disagree more.  I have implemented the first and last of the
> above, and have a number of ideas for implementing the second (read my
> other email).

I'd be curious to know how you implemented a "detect lie" skill that
works on other players without invoking OOC negotiation. Or telepathy,
for that matter. I looked at your other email (woo, archives) and have
to say I don't think any of them give the feel he's looking for, IMO. 
At least, to me it sounds like he's looking for prophet-types that see
for sure what will happen, not people that get impulses/feelings about
what might happen. So it's no good to say "you see your corpse lying
at Bob's feet" if there's a possibility you might win (and it's a
tricky thing to predict the outcome of combat, of course). You *could*
maybe do it by deciding in advance the results and then fudging die
rolls extensively to make it work. I think, though, this might seem a
little obvious to the player sometimes (eg, Bubba gets a vision of
getting killed by Bob, but halfway through Fred comes in and blasts
Bob with the magic bazooka of slaying. You could have the bazooka
magically misfire or the blast somehow miss Bob, but ...) The other
ones are kind of interesting but seem to be more like knowing the
present rather than predicting the future (which is of course also a
useful skill but still not what he's looking for. I don't think, anyway.)
> > Suggestion #2: Occasionally, immortals give visions to prescient
> >                characters. Prescient characters are free to do
> >                whatever they want with these visions, including lie
> >                about them. For other times, they should get good at
> >                making up plausibly vague prophecies.
> This is one way to do it, although a rather poor way IMO.  I prefer
> code to be as automated as possible rather than rely on imm's to do
> all the work.

Yeah, me too, but I don't see a better way to get around it. I guess
some automation is possible if you stick to preventing events and not
outcomes. F'instance, "You get a vision of a tribe of orcs attacking
the city" and then enqueuing an event to start an orc attack three
days later. This would provide a chance for the prophet character to
try and warn the guards and gather up defenses into the city to
prepare for the attack. Or not get believed, as the case may be. I
think, though, that prophets are most interesting when they get
visions of Big Events, which are IMO the sort of things that immortals
ought to be scripting anyway. Sending out visions would be just
another part of the setup (alternately, if immortals design scenarios
like "Orc Attack" that get played several times, adding a vision onto
the prophet queue would be just another command in the scenario).  

> KaVir.
Dan Shiovitz || dbs at cs.wisc.edu || http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~dbs 
"...Incensed by some crack he had made about modern enlightened
thought, modern enlightened thought being practically a personal buddy
of hers, Florence gave him the swift heave-ho and--much against my
will, but she seemed to wish it--became betrothed to me." - PGW, J.a.t.F.S. 

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