[MUD-Dev] Fair/Unfair? Scenarios (fwd)

Richard Ross rross at rross.eurobell.co.uk
Tue Dec 7 00:27:17 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999


J.C.Lawrence wrote:
> "Life isn't always fair.  Deal with it."  We've all heard the line.
> How true is that for our players?  At what point does our role as
> world designers change from hand-holding tour guide to protagonist?

I've always been an advocate of "realistic" fantasy, an attitude which has
got me into hot water many a time with my real-life roleplaying group.  Many
a night has echoed with cries of "You can't send thirty orcs against a level
1 party!" or "How were we supposed to know?".

I've stuck to my guns, and lost quite a few players who couldn't cope with
my style, and now I've got players who understand that stupidity and
ignorance can kill you just as easily as a troll with a club can.  So
they're careful, they tend to look before they leap, and their characters
(for the most part) survive long enough to be able to cope with the
"realistic" encounters I throw at them.

I've taken the same attitude with my MUDding, especially with the MUD I'm
currently designing.  I'm no monster, I'm not going to put in deathtraps
without warning, but the character won't have the clues handed to them on a
plate either.  There's no "Don't go north, you'll die!" signs, because, lets
face it, who's going to put the sign there.  Anyone who goes north dies, so
no-one is left to tell the tale.  There may be rumours in the local tavern
about people who enter this particular part of the mine disappearing without
trace, but that tavern could be miles away.  It's up to the players to
choose.  I for one won't be sad when lemming-like they jump off the cliffs,
and even if they leave, they'll hopefully have learned something.

I've also realised I've started every paragraph with an "I've".  Don't hold
it against me please.




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