[MUD-Dev] Depth of realism

Jo Dillon emily at thelonious.new.ox.ac.uk
Sun Nov 21 11:51:41 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999


Travis S. Casey (efindel at io.com) spake thusly:
> Except that in a true medieval setting, there is no army to join -- at
> best there may be mercenary companies about.  A medieval army consists
> pretty much of knights and levies -- the levies being untrained peasants
> who are basically drafted when needed.  The idea of the modern
> "standing army" didn't come about until later.  You could have mercenary
> groups as alternatives to "guilds" or "clans," though -- in the real world
> medieval mercenaries who couldn't get work often made a living as bandits.
> In a fantasy world, they'd probably adventure.

  Of course, you could stretch the timescale slightly and pull in early
Renaissance Italy - say around 1300. Then you do get a citizen's militia.
Or you could have an Anglo-Saxon setup with housecarls - they're a standing
army but you don't need to be born noble to join them. And, as you say,
mercenary companies are a pretty good bet as well; they could be the equal
of any knights.
> 
> I think you're confusing realism and detail here.  A battle doesn't have
> to be handled on a per-person basis -- it could be handled with "units" of
> each army instead of individuals.  The battle becomes more abstract in
> this way, but the results may still be realistic.

  You could also have a system whereby individuals are generated out of a unit
only when someone actually takes an interest in them - e.g.
Colonel Buffy the player character looks at a unit of pikemen and tells one 
of them to accompany him. Boffo Blackadder is then generated and joins Buffy 
as a servant.
 
> Also, on a medieval mud, medieval army sizes should be used.  Until the
> late part of the medieval period, few battles involved more than a few
> hundred people total.  You can break those up into units of 10 or so, and
> have only 10 to 50 units to handle for most battles.

  I'd have thought a couple of thousand and up more typical - it depends which
area and time you're talking about of course.

> be generals?  If so, a more abstract system may work better.  You may even
> want to handle battles through a mechanism divorced from the mud, such as
> a matrix game with one of the admins as a referee.  Do you want the PCs to
> be soldiers in an army?  Give them orders, run things on the "unit" level,
> but break up the units in any area where the PCs are into individuals.
> Most of the battle gets handled on the unit level, but the players don't
> see that.

  Ideally you'd want to allow both :)

--

	Jo





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