[MUD-Dev] Permadeath (was: Balance... RPG or Role-Playing Game?)

Eli Stevens wickedgrey at wickedgrey.com
Mon Jul 31 17:20:16 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mordengaard" <mordengaard at redhotant.com>
To: <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Sent: Monday, July 31, 2000 2:28 PM
Subject: Re: [MUD-Dev] Balance... RPG or Role-Playing Game?

[snip other stuff]

> I'm something of a fence-sitter on the "permadeath" concept.  As a player
> hate the idea of permadeath.  Put me in a situation where I might
> permanently lose my beloved character which has (so far) had over two
> of playing time and I'm likely to run screaming.  As a mud coder, however,
> and a "hobby" psychologist, I want my players to be -really- scared of the
> bits of data that represent Gorm, the Great Dragon of the Orclands.  I
> want defeating Gorm to be a high point in one character or group of
> character's life/lives.  This is partly because mobs in Yhared don't
> "repop", but are "seeded" into the world (but that's for a different
> thread).  Slaying Gorm will be a major world event (and leaving me
> but that's nothing new :p), reducing the current dragon population by a
> third and earning major karma/kudos/money for the doer(s) of the deed.
> where's the fear, the anxiety, the buttock-clenchingness about approaching
> Gorm's lair if you know that death will simply result in a quick trip to
> the Mistress of Death and the loss of a few bits of equipment?
> In a twist, can I suggest instead a number of "lives", less than a cat's
> more than a human's, so that losing one of these lives is a traumatic
> experience in itself (hopefully to the character, not the player), but
> the knowledge that "true" death is now a step closer might make the player
> more cautious.  It's probably been tried before (I'm starting to think I'm
> not that original after all :p), but hell, the car's been done before and
> they're still bringing out new models.  Game on.

A half baked thought that I will just throw out before I think about it too
much:  What if only monsters on the order of Gorm cuase permadeath (or
multi-permadeath)?  And only if the players are seeking Gorm out themselves
(it doesn't seem fair to send Gorm on a rampage through town and have him be
permakilling everyone).  I think it would make for interesting dynamics:
assaulting a Big Bad Guy in his/her lair would be very dangerous, but when
they venture outside that lair, they become a much more attractive target,
simply because you can be killed without the permadeath.  I think this would
cause a "rally to protect the city" mentality.

Of course, you would need to be able to send Gorm out to stretch his legs
every once in a while.  >:)

<//> Silence is golden           RUIN, v.  To destroy.            <\\>
 ||  Eli                         Specifically, to destroy a maid's ||
 ||  wickedgrey at wickedgrey.com   belief in the virtue of maids.    ||
<\\> www.wickedgrey.com            -- Ambrose Bierce              <//>

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