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

Adam Wiggins adam at angel.com
Thu Dec 16 15:47:10 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

On Thu, 16 Dec 1999, J C Lawrence wrote:
> Consider the example I posited a little later in that post:
>   So, the wandering Bands of Bubba, nasty headhunting brain bashing
>   villains that they are, have been magically transported into the
>   Village of Rue by a wayward wizard, and, just happen to meet up
>   with their dire enemies, Boffo's Brutes who are enjoying a spot of
>   pie at the local pub after losing their way due to a
>   disorientation spell.
>   Of course a battle royal ensues across the tradionally tranquial
>   streets and squares of Rue, that utopian dream of bucolic
>   simplicity, and our young newbie, knowing nothing of this, walks
>   into the middle of the fray, finds himself lost and both a head
>   shorter and dead, tho possibly not in that order.
> Now this is explicitly a _different_ situation than the simple
> instance of a room with three exits, two of which are death traps
> (cf Craft of Adventure).  Not to belabour the point, the difference
> is between pre-designed game instances whicha re dangerous to the
> player (the room with three exits), or happenstance occurances which 
> *might* be dengerous to the player.
> Now the game designer has some obvious responsibilities in the
> 3ExitRoom, but what responsibilities does he have in the
> BandsofBubba scenario?

I would say that if the world is open-ended enough to allow this sort of
scenario (and most are, although such happenings are rare), you should
also provide the players mechanisms for aquiring information about these
dynamic aspects.  That is to say, someone writing an area can enter, "There
is a signpost warning you of great danger ahead" into the static room
description, but cannot do anything about the above.

All players need are some simple tools to be able to aquire information about
their world without needing it to come from a room description.  For example,
the ability to "scan" is something left out of many muds, which I consider
a serious problem.  A similar effect, but slightly more subtle would be
a "danger sense" ability.  (Perhaps the strength of the danger sense would
be inversely proportional to the age of the character, to help out the
newbies.)  This ability would simply give messages about nearby dangerous
creatures or items in vague terms.  Thus, while wandering the streets of
Rue, the young newbie might see:

A strong sense of foreboding fills you, emanating from the south.

This gives the player a chance to decide: "Uh oh, I'm a newbie, I think
I'll steer clear" or "Alright!  Just what this town needs, a little
excitement!  I'm there!"


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