[MUD-Dev] Logical MUD Areas

John Buehler johnbue at msn.com
Mon May 7 15:37:29 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

Kevin Littlejohn writes:
> "John Buehler" wrote

>> We need immutable bad guys because we need something that can be
>> killed without any downside to our conscience.  And if you're not
>> worried about yours, consider the kids' consciences.

> As has been noted in other emails, I find that idea deeply
> disturbing.  There is no such thing in nature as "no downside" -
> training people to think there is simply contributes to the abysmal
> attitude many people already have toward our fellow inhabitants of
> the globe.

> Present shades of grey, give people space to learn that nothing
> comes for free - not even a bit of gratuitous slaughter - and
> perhaps you'll encourage people to think before they act, rather
> than be willing to write off others as having "no redeeming graces".

> That's a complaint I have about EQ's faction system - I started as
> Iksar, and the first reaction I had was "lets see if I can get on
> the good side of the Frogloks".  Hey, they've even got a town
> nearby.  No can do, as far as I can see, because frogloks are
> monsters, not a character race.  What do I learn from that?

Hehe.  Well, I happen to think the whole killing thing is a bad idea,
but if I'm going to have it, I'm going to have the players killing
things which are defined to be fantasy evil.  I find the notion of
presenting issues of grey to children without appropriate supervision
to be equally disturbing.  For example, a child should not ever be
permitted to perceive anyone in the real world as having "no redeeming
graces".  I see the same danger that you do in what I'm proposing, but
I also consider what I'm proposing to be far safer than what I see out
there.  Without real world consequences (including the sights, sounds
and smells of combat), it's dangerous to try to present greys.  I
wonder how many kids were interested in playing war games after
watching "Saving Private Ryan".

Perhaps the bad guys need to be presented as bugs or crabs or some
other obviously non-primate form.  But that gets problematical for
other reasons.

Another approach to all of this is to just eliminate killing from the
game and let everyone go with non-lethal martial arts.  Combat to
unconsciousness.  That certainly fits into my game model well.  It
permits lots of human and even non-human sentient groups to exist and
slug it out with each other in a 'civilized' way.  It also avoids the
whole resurrection versus permadeath problem.


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