[MUD-Dev] Re: MUD Design doc (long)

Adam Wiggins adam at angel.com
Sun Jan 10 13:57:42 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

On Sat, 9 Jan 1999, Mik Clarke wrote:
> I've implemented the detailed descriptions as chains of keywords,
> conditions and descriptions attached to rooms and objects. (Extending
> the Diku/ROM Extra Descriptions).  It makes the search for the target of
> a look/examine command a bit more complicated, but lets me play tricks
> with conditional descriptions and lets me record the fact that someone
> has seen a particular description.
> An example might be a mage examining a sword:
> >examine sword
> A fine blade of polished steel.
> It looks quite sharp.
> ...and a warrior examining the same blade...
> >examine sword
> A fine blade of polished steel.
> It has a razor honed edge and is undoubtably the work of the weapon
> smiths of FooBar. This is a rare and valuable blade.

I've long been a proponent of this effect.  It greatly increases the
sense of RP someone gets, which I think is more likely to stimulate
someone into actually playing their character the way they should.
Do an archive search for my "rain man" effect for a more detailed

But I like the example above, because it allows for a lot of intrigue.
You have to take other people's words on what they see.  For example,
the mage above could look at it and say, "Oh, that's a pretty nice
looking sword", and the warrior could look at it and realize not
only is it a "nice" sword, but it's actually of incredible craftsmanship
and would sell for a huge sum of money.  But of course, he doesn't
have to tell the mage that - he could say, "Oh yeah, it's pretty good.
I'll take it back to town and sell it there, we'll probably get a
few hundred gold for it" (when in truth he knows it will sell for
at least several thousand).
Vice-versa, the warrior could find what looks like a worthless piece
of semi-precious gemstone, but the mage could realize that it was some
sort of powerful magic artifact and pull the same trick.

Adam W.

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