[MUD-Dev] Acting casual about casual gamers

Michael Tresca talien at toast.net
Sat Jul 8 10:55:16 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

Greg Miller wrote:

> But does it really make sense for a level 1 dragon to terrorize a
> village? Seems like thematic level independence is a reasonable
> objective, but you have to be careful not to go too far :)

Fear the D&Dization of the fantasy genre!

My experiences at Elfwood (http://www.elfwood.com) show just how much the
fantasy genre has been diluted by Dungeons and Dragons.  Someone drew an elf
with long (as in, one-foot long) ears.  The artist was flamed into next week
because "that's not how elves look."

How does anyone know what elves look like?  Of course, the inspiration for
this art came from Deedlit in Record of the Lodoss Wars.  But Dungeons and
Dragons (and Tolkien) has become our staple of fantasy.  It's so ingrained,
some people don't realize where they got their preconceived notions about a
particular beast or fantasy race.

Don't get me wrong, I cut my gaming teeth on Dungeons and Dragons, and many
MUDs owe a lot to the original game.  But it is by no means the absolute

Maybe I have a world populated by dragons who are only one-foot tall (like
the mini-dragons in Dragonrider's of Pern).  Maybe this world calls
dragonflies dragons.  Maybe dragons are the psychological manifestation of
the cumulative fears of the peasant populace.

Dragons do not have to be different colors.  They don't have to have four
limbs, snakey necks, and wings.  And they do not have to be "super
powerful."  Dragon myths and legends give them so much more than the color
and damage type of their breath weapon.

There's nothing wrong with having new players fight (and defeat) a dragon
when they first start out.  The fallacious assumption that a dragon is the
pinnacle of monster perfection leads to more D&Dism and reinforces a
paradigm that restricts creativity.

Now a Tarrasque, THAT's the peak of monster perfection. >:)

Michael "Talien" Tresca
RetroMUD Administrator
telnet://retromud.org 3000

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