[MUD-Dev] Logical MUD Areas

Brad Triem triem at sierranv.net
Sun May 6 10:08:02 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


John Buehler wrote:
> Greg Munt writes:
>> From: Scion Altera <keeler at teleport.com>

>>> The goblins, fed up about being attacked and killed so much, check
>>> out the humans and decide they are outmatched, so the village is
>>> unloaded and the game picks another suitable location to put

<snip>

>> I think that this scenario is unrealistic. A community would not
>> leave, unless they lived in mobile dwellings, or were constantly on
>> the move, to follow their food supply. I would expect goblin
>> communities to band together against their common enemy. I would

<snip>

> While I completely agree that goblins should be defending their
> homes or actively trying to push away competing populations, I
> disagree about the whole empathy thing.  I believe that things that
> we kill must either be non-sentient or they must be inherently and
> immutably evil.  That means that they are not misguided beings just
> doing their thing and that works out to be something that the player
> characters don't like.  It means that they are soulless beings that
> exist in order to destroy that which is good.

One could easily start the discussion on the philosophy of what is
evil to whom.  Oops, I think I just started it.  What we may conceive
as evil may be evil to us, but to that individual in question, they
may think of themselves as good, or better yet, righteous.  I
know...their is a farmer plowing his field and a player strolls by and
takes his head off.  Very hard to justify the farmer existed in order
to destroy that which is good.

I was just reading a book, The Last Prince of Ireland by Morgan
Llywelyn.  A group of about 350 people, starving and running for
freedom for several days from the english.  Ahh, but it wasn't just
from the english.  Local "irish" farmers band together and harass and
attack the Irish as they pass.  Some for reward and some just because
they are scared of what the English will do to them if they don't.
Were either groups inherently evil?

The point being, that unless your game is completely roleplay, it
would be "extremely" difficult to build it in such a way that you
could make every killing justifiable.  You can't put a sentry next to
each civilian innocent, but you need the civilians to provide some
depth to your game.  You could make innocents safe from attacks
period, see previous sentance.

> Why do this?  Because players should not be encouraged to kill
> things that they are also encouraged to empathize with.  It's a
> recipe for disaster.  Sure, it should produce some significant
> emotional reactions as one group of players sides with the goblins,
> but those aren't the sorts of emotions that I think we want in
> gameplay.  Do we also go in and kill goblin children?  Hopefully,
> you see the effect that I'm worried about.  To go to an extreme, do
> we want to produce screams of children as they're killed?  I'm sure
> plenty of people would empathize with *that*.

Then one should do the same for the goblin children....Perhaps
sticking to what is inherently evil isn't what we should be focusing
on, but what is inherently innocent.  Hmm, of course I am thinking of
children, but wouldn't non-sentient animals be inherently innocent for
the most part.  Theology, philosophy, good and bad.  Very difficult
discussion.

Brad

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