[MUD-Dev] Re: MUD-Dev digest, Vol 1 #142 - 4 msgs

Caliban Tiresias Darklock caliban at darklock.com
Tue Aug 31 16:06:53 New Zealand Standard Time 1999

On 04:43 PM 8/30/1999 -0700, I personally witnessed Ilya, SCC, Game
Commando jumping up to say:
>I'll bite on this one: what system do you have in mind where might
>doesn't make right, or where something other than might makes right?

>From a combat perspective, think rock/paper/scissors:

Rule 1: No attack will penetrate every defense.

Rule 2: No defense will prevent every attack.

Now expand on this to make it more interesting:

Rule 3: For every attack or defense, there is a corresponding
countermeasure which turns the effect on the opponent. No such
countermeasure is universal.

Rule 4: It is physically impossible to have more than a small fraction of
the available offenses, defenses, or countermeasures. 

Now level the playing field:

Rule 5: All offenses, defenses, and countermeasures are readily available
and can be acquired reasonably quickly.

Given this type of situation, "might" becomes very much in doubt and direct
combat becomes much more iffy. (It's sort of a "purer" version of might:
you *might* win.) As a result, players will be forced by the odds to locate
other methods of achieving their goals. Military intelligence becomes more
valuable: if you know what weapon your opponent uses, you can acquire the
appropriate defense and countermeasure. Subterfuge becomes more valuable:
if you can convince your opponent you use a different weapon, you can trick
him into defending against the wrong thing. (Born and bred in the briar
patch, Br'er Fox...) Psychological warfare is a natural consequence.

It can be argued that since combat and competition are still the major
measures of success, we've just redefined "might". Maybe so... but at least
it's become more than just what equipment you have.
| Caliban Tiresias Darklock            caliban at darklock.com 
| Darklock Communications          http://www.darklock.com/ 
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