[MUD-Dev] Re: Levelless MUDs

Travis S. Casey efindel at io.com
Tue Jun 30 12:44:16 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Friday, 26 June 98, Ben wrote:
> On Fri, 26 Jun 1998, J C Lawrence wrote:
> >> Holly Sommer<hsommer at micro.ti.com> wrote:

>> > Uh, what game doesn't have a concept of advancement? 
>> Lotsa games.  Start with Tic-Tac-Toe, almost all card games, tennis,
>> cricket, etc.  A player near to winning the game is indistinguishable
>> from one starting the game.

> What about the tennis rankings?  Consider matches to be battles,
> and rankings to be the leveling system.  The same can be said of
> almost every complex or wide-spread game, from Scrabble to Chess to
> Soccer (futbol)....  Do cricket teams not rank themselves?

Don't forget, however, that there is a difference between *player*
advancement and *character* advancement.  No matter what you do with
an RPG, players will get better at it by learning how the rules work,
what a character with certain skills is capable of, etc.

Characters, however, do not need to improve, although such improvement
is considered standard in RPGs.  The original Traveller is the only
paper RPG that I can think of which has no character advancement;
however, there are other paper RPGs in which advancement is either
mainly through "downtime" activities (e.g., training) or is listed as

Among computer RPG and RPG-like games, there are some in which the
only form of "advancement" is through gaining equipment.  There are
also some games, such as some MUSHes, where characters do not have any
statistics, and therefore there is no advancement.

In sports, there is no division between the players and their playing
pieces -- player advancement *is* "character" advancement.  In games
such as chess, checkers, bridge, etc., however, while the player may
become better, that player's pieces do not gain any powers or
abilities that other player's pieces don't have.  Thus, these games
have player advancement, but not character advancement.
       |\      _,,,---,,_        Travis S. Casey  <efindel at io.com>
 ZZzz  /,`.-'`'    -.  ;-;;,_   No one agrees with me.  Not even me.
      |,4-  ) )-,_..;\ (  `'-'
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