[MUD-Dev] an essay on PK

Chris Turner christ at rd.bbc.co.uk
Sun Sep 26 21:47:59 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

On Fri, 24 Sep 1999, Adam Wiggins wrote:

> 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.

Well obviously you'd not make it instant - the guards could ask you to
put the weapon away before trying more hard line tactics.  You could even go
as far as making it auto-sheath the weapon when entering a town where the
player/character knows this law to be in effect.  (Note I don't, upon
thinking about it, like the last idea I just said - but it's still an idea).

> 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).

A bit like 'wield' and 'remove' then with some kind of fastdraw skill thrown
in?  You don't actually need a sheath item - slipping it into the belt would
work just fine.

I assume both fighters have to draw their weapons - so it's not totally
unfair to someone who is unprepared?  Do you have it so that if one fighter
is slower, they have to dodge until they have a free moment to pull out
their blade?

> 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.)

This I like - I think you've mentioned it before too.  In fact I'm sure the
whole 'weapon in towns' thread has been done before too, but my lousy memory
and the fact the archives don't seem to want to be searchable isn't helping
me out here. *8)

> 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).

Hence the notion of the peaceknot - tying the sword in the sheath makes it
impossible to whip out at moments notice.  Another feature I can think of is
blood.  Surely if you've just slashed someones' throat you're gonna be
covered in the stuff along with your blade.  I doubt many guards would think
twice before throwing someone into the local jail when walking about with a
blood covered sword and covered in the stuff themselves.

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

But still, it should be possible to smuggle weapons in.  Thrown over the
city walls - hidden in a haycart etc...  You could end up with all kinds of
illegal goods that are highly in demand and people could gain huge rewards
for selling them on the black market.

christ at rd.bbc.co.uk   #include <stddisclaimer.h>   http://www.fysh.org/~maddy

   "So this is really me? A no-style gimbo with teeth druids could use as a
       place of worship" - Duaine Dibley (Red Dwarf - "Back to Reality")

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