[MUD-Dev] an essay on PK

Adam Wiggins adam at angel.com
Fri Sep 24 12:03:37 New Zealand Standard Time 1999


On Fri, 24 Sep 1999, Chris Turner wrote:
> One question that I think springs to mind is why is the tailor standing
> alone in a "room" with someone who is wielding a weapon?  I know I certainly
> would be decided uncomfortable if I were in a shop whilst a stranger waved a
> sword or gun around.  If you read most fantasy novels, the characters don't
> go around baring arms - swords are sheathed away and are tied in place with
> a "peace knot"?
> 
> Now what would really be nice, is if the guards dealt with the problem
> before it happened.  If they saw someone walking about with a weapon in
> their hand, they could conviscate the weapon or arrest them.  In essence -
> what would really help is IC laws inside the town which promote a peaceful
> existance.

Some pay mud - I want to say Diku II - had this.  As I recall it annoyed
players greatly, simply because the mechanisms for drawing and sheathing
your weapon were not very good; it was very easy to go walking into town
without remembering to put away your weapon first (especially if you're
used to the 'always wielded' method on most combat-oriented muds), resulting
in your character instantly being thrown in jail.

I did a simple draw/sheathe mechanism for a diku a long time ago, relying
on an imaginary sheath (I always wanted to make sheath items, but that
was a bit too much of a change at the time).

It worked like this:  'draw' (or 'dr') would draw your weapon(s), while
'sheathe' (or 'sh') would put them away.  You automatically draw your
weapon at the start of combat, at the expense of a delay (very small
for experienced fighters, and zero if you're extremely skillfull).
Naturally it's wise for less skilled characters to draw their weapons
if they are expecting trouble soon - which is nice, because in a large
party, you have the relative newbies whipping out their weapons nervously,
while the experienced ones keep their weapons sheathed.

In addition, I also made many of the actions which required hands (including
opening doors or chests) automatically sheathe your weapon to "free up"
a hand.  (You could do it with your offhand if you didn't have anything
in it.)

Worked out pretty nicely, and was fairly transparent.  Of course, it
was also transparent enough that a player could snap out their sword,
slice the tailor's throat, and sheathe it before anyone knew what
happened (if they were quick enough).

I always planned to implement some 'safe' towns where players had to check
their weapons at the gate, but never quite got that far.

Adam





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