[MUD-Dev] "Mud-school", character-gen and role-playing

Chris Turner christ at rd.bbc.co.uk
Tue Jul 11 10:35:39 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

On Mon, 10 Jul 2000 adam at treyarch.com wrote:

> One really cool character creation system is the White Wolf virtues/flaws
> system.  (Ars Magica and Vampyre: the Masquerade use them, at least.)

Actually they're called merits not virtues - virtues in White Wolf are
something entirely different.

> In a nutshell: you choose virtues like "You have giant blood, and are much
> larger and stronger than a normal human" or "You have a careful personality,
> all Botch skill rolls get a bonus of +2" and flaws like "You are bad at
> communicating spells and get a -4 to all communication rolls" or "You have
> a big nose that people find commical".  Each one has a score, with flaws being
> negative and virtues being positive.  You choose as many flaws and virtues
> as you like, but you must end up at some constant (like say, 0).
> This would be especially interesting to implement on a mud, because you
> could make a dynamic "economy" of character traits.  Each time a trait
> is chosen, its cost raises by some tiny amount (say, 0.01).  Each time
> a trait is present and not chosen (or, alternately, if the trait is not
> chosen at all within a 24 hour period) its cost goes down by 0.01.  Only
> whole numbers are displayed to players.
> This means that the most "popular" character traits will quickly become
> inflated, and people will start shopping amongst the more uncommon traits.
> Which is a desired effect as far as I am concerned.

This would probably work, but I've never seen this as being a problem and 
there are quite a few munchkins/twinks in my local area.

All the really "cool" merits are already very expensive and since you're
expected to have an equal amount of flaws, it means that to get them you
have to take either lots of really bad flaws, or lots of little ones -
either way, you're gonna be fairly heftly crippled.

My local gaming group have a joke character concept of a blind, deaf,
paraplegic vampire who has Truth Faith[1].  TF is an exceptionally cool
merit, but the amount it costs to have, coupled with the restrictions on
it (only "good" vampires get it) puts most people off.  If you don't act
within the restrictions, you can lose merits which can leave you in a really
bad way.

And to stop everyone having every merit/flaw, most GMs I know, restrict you
to having a maximum amount of either.  Which usually results in their being
a good variety of them - there are plenty of 1 point merits & flaws to
satisfy everyones' needs.

[1] Truth Faith is a 7 point merit enabling the vampire in question to
call forth the power of God.
christ at rd.bbc.co.uk   #include <stddisclaimer.h>   http://www.fysh.org/~maddy

   "He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy"
             - Monty Python's Life of Brian

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