[MUD-Dev] Critiquing Muds

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Fri Jul 9 21:40:32 New Zealand Standard Time 1999

On Thu 08 Jul, Caliban Tiresias Darklock wrote:
> On 05:39 PM 7/8/99 -0400, I personally witnessed Travis Casey jumping up to
> say:

> >On Thursday, July 08, 1999, Marian Griffith wrote:
> >> On Wed 30 Jun, Travis Casey wrote:

> >>>    Put simply, the idea is that characters
> >>>    should only be able to act on knowledge that the character
> >>>    possesses, and not on knowledge that the player possesses but the
> >>>    character shouldn't.

> >> It is in fact one of the reasons why it is considered such
> >> a rude act to kill somebody's character against their will in those
> >> situations.

> >Hmm?  I don't see the connection
> I don't either. Thank God I'm not alone. ;)

> I think consent and firewalling (or, as I call it, "IC/OOC Separation" --
> but firewalling is so much more concise) are two different issues.

*smile* Nobody ever suggested otherwise. It is just that the one affects
the other.

> Consent, I think, stems more directly from what death *means* to a
> character. On GOP MUDs, characters are basically interchangeable. Even with
> permadeath, there is only the matter of ramping up to a decent skill level,
> which many players have scripted and most can manage in a couple days. The
> setback is trivial in most cases -- not as trivial as Quake (oops, died,
> run over here and grab armor, run over there and grab perforator, go kick
> some ass), but a LOT more trivial than an RP MUD. On an RP MUD, you gather
> a reputation over the course of months and years. The death of your
> character entails a loss of thousands of hours worth of gameplay, hours
> that have accomplished absolutely NOTHING applicable to your new character. 

Which is exactly my point.  By killing a character on an RP mud much more
is lost to the player (in terms of investment). The more this firewalling
applies the harder it is to overcome. In a game with a fairly loose sepa-
ration between IC and OOC  it is easier to create a new character  and to
integrate it with the old group. In  a game where the mores requires com-
plete separation between player and character  this is almost impossible.
The player is forced to start entirely anew,  create a new character, new
networks of contacts and friends, new involvements.  Hence my remark that
under such circumstances non-consensual killings are much more rude.

> >>>  - Re: the "Acting" form of gaming.  I don't really see where this is
> >>>    a separate form -- to me, it's just immersive RP.

> >> There is a real and important distinction between the two.
> >> Roleplaying, as the term already says, means that a character has a
> >> -role- to play. There is a purpose to the character that is defined
> >> in terms of the game world.
> >> Acting on the other hand requires no particular role.  A player may
> >> adapt one for her character,  but it is not part of the game. Pern-
> >> mushes usually are strongly acting oriented where white wolf mushes
> >> tend to be more roleplaying oriented.

> >This is the first time I've seen the term "roleplaying" treated this
> >way.

> I'll step in here and state my OPINION (big letters so I don't get jumped
> on)

Do not worry about being jumped on. I am not big enough to jump on guys,
even if my husband would not object ;)

> that Marian is wholly wrong. What she is describing here is not
> roleplaying v. acting, but role *creation* versus role *assumption*. Both
> are roleplaying, and both are acting. Role creation is like improv theatre
> or traditional generate-your-own-character gaming; while you have
> boundaries, these boundaries are very loose. You must "fit", but you can
> fit in any way you like. Role assumption is like traditional scripted
> theatre or tournament-style pregenerated character gaming. You are handed a
> role, and whether you like that role or not, you must play it. 

Maybe I used the wrong terminology but there is a real and significant
difference between the two styles of playing, which is what I think is
that matters.  They are different games  with different needs  for the

Yes - at last - You. I Choose you. Out of all the world,
out of all the seeking, I have found you, young sister of
my heart! You are mine and I am yours - and never again
will there be loneliness ...

Rolan Choosing Talia,
Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey

MUD-Dev maillist  -  MUD-Dev at kanga.nu

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