[MUD-Dev] Curtailing the 'Super-Rich Effect'

Mordengaard mordengaard at btinternet.com
Tue Apr 10 09:03:03 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


From: "Bob McFakename" <bobmcfakename at hotmail.com>

> I've noticed that in virtually all MUDs, the higher-level players
> have such ridiculous amounts of money - actually, that should be
> 'assets' - that they can give medium-level equipment away.  Most
> people don't seem to care a great deal about this, but it has always
> bothered me, for a few reasons:

8< snip >8

> So how can we curtail the super-rich effect? (Do we want to?)  Any
> thoughts?

I've been working on this problem for a while.  I'm sure the
roleplayers here will have experienced "Monty Haul" campaigns where
everyone in the party ends up outfitted with a gazillion uberitems and
enough cash left over to purchase a small planet (with moon), and I
wanted a way of stopping that occuring in my games.

The key, I think, is to try to figure out where the wealth comes from
in the first place.  Most of the MUDs I've encountered generally
accept that monsters and NPCs will either have cash on them or some
object(s) which can be sold in the nearest shop for cash.  These shops
will buy the most unlikely things, I've noticed, and never seem to
worry about whether the object has a resale value.  They also seem to
have bottomless coffers of gold behind the counter.  These shops and
the reasoning behind them were the first thing I dealt with.

Lets face it, the NPC shopkeeper stands there (often 24/7 in some
muds) for a reason - he wants to make money to support his wife and
family, or maybe he's just greedy.  He's -not- there to provide a
source of gold for adventurers (altruism doesn't fill the stomach as
well as bread and meat).  So, have a more realistic shop system.  The
shopkeeper won't buy useless items, nor will he pay more than the
value of the object less a reasonable profit margin.  He does not have
bottomless coffers, so he'll choose his purchases carefully.  He may
even not buy anything at all, preferring to sell his own goods.

Other sources of cold cash can be dealt with in a similar manner.
Instead of showering the players with gold when they rescue his
daughter, have the king (or whoever) give them titles or land.  "What
if they sell the land?" I hear you ask.  Well, they don't actually
-own- the land.  An examination of the feudal land system puts
everything firmly in the pocket of the King or the church, with only a
very small portion being owned privately.  Also, why not restrict the
amount of money in circulation anyway?  Even if a player is -worth-
umpteen million gold pieces in total, 99.99% of that is going to be in
assets, not cash.  If the kingdom has only minted a million coins,
that coinage is going to be spread amongst everyone in the kingdom.
Unless the player systematically wipes out everyone in the kingdom and
takes their money, of course, and if -that- can happen there's
something wrong with your game.

I have other points to make but I'll stop there 'cause this is getting
too long :) Hope it helps some.

Mordengaard (Yhared MUD)

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