[MUD-Dev] Logical MUD Areas

Adam Martin amsm2 at cam.ac.uk
Fri May 11 09:42:02 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

----- Original Message -----
From: "Scion Altera" <keeler at teleport.com>
To: "John Buehler" <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Sent: Friday, May 11, 2001 2:33 AM
Subject: Re[2]: [MUD-Dev] Logical MUD Areas

> Tuesday, May 08, 2001, 9:12:18 PM, John Buehler wrote:
>> S. Patrick Gallaty writes:

>>> What, might I ask could be more unhealthy than to have immersive
>>> games in which the 'enemy' is a demonized, nonhuman, alien force
>>> which we do not have -any- empathy for because they are "without
>>> merit" (your words.)  All of the worst of humanity comes from a
>>> lack of compassion.  You are encouraging it.

>> creatures that rise up out of a swamp and attack the good guys.
>> Soulless, beings without senses, but with weapons for arms.  This
>> is a pretty good starting point for what I'm talking about.  These
>> aren't beings with babies.  They are the medieval equivalent of
>> robots.  You don't kill them, you take them apart.  Meanwhile,
>> they're emotionlessly trying to kill you.

> Maybe that's the way it appears... Having never read "The Swords
> Trilogy" myself, I can imagine any number of storylines where one of
> the main characters discovers that an evil necromancer is trapping
> the souls of children to use in bringing the mud to life, or that
> these mud beings have families and cities down there under the
> swamp, or perhaps they're just very territorial, or the good guys
> smell bad to them...

> My main question: why are they there, and why are they killing
> adventurers? On a secondary note, can anyone tell me why they were
> included in the book? Surely they weren't just some random
> encounter?

> ...and there you have the basis for a wonderful moral struggle on
> the part of that main character who now has to reconcile the fact
> that he/she has been mercilessly slaughtering these innocent "evil"
> mud critters on every single trip through that swamp.

A *really* effective way of achieving this I think would be to somehow
conspire to make some players become mud people for a period of time
(perhaps having to take on their form and do a quest for them as part
of another quest). Without any means of communication, so they can't
signal to other players. I'd expect to at least see:

1) the players who had been mud-people doing some serious re-educating
of the general community once they had finished their quest and could
communicate normally again!  2) people who had been attacking them
callously who now found themselves having to be one, and at the mercy
of ignorant passers-by would probably have one of those sudden
double-take moments when they realised the error of their ways.

Sadly, with the existenc of any serious grief player I suspect you'd
have people deliberately trying to attack them in light of their
increased knowledge - on the grounds that it would be a particularly
easy way to create misery. Who knows, though, perhaps other people
would form up to provide some protection to them?

Adam M

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