[MUD-Dev] Non-combat advancement and roleplay

Travis Casey efindel at earthlink.net
Wed Jul 4 15:49:58 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

On Tuesday July 03, 2001 22:07, J C Lawrence wrote:
> John Buehler <johnbue at msn.com> wrote:
>> holding99 at mindspring.com writes:

>>> As an aside, how would any of the reputation systems people have
>>> suggested be modified to work with disguises? Would you still be
>>> able to see the reputation a character has, even when there is
>>> no conceivable way that your character could know?

>> It's not much of a disguise if you can see through it with a
>> given system.

> This assumes that disguises are inherently impenetrable.  Why not
> allow disguises which can be seen through, partially seen through,
> or even setup to be potentially recognised by the human player?

I don't think that's what he was trying to say... I think John was
simply trying to say that if there's an easy way to automatically
see through disguises, disguises aren't worth much.

>> A game that implements disguises must implement 'identities' as
>> separate from the character itself.  That is, the relationship
>> between character and identity is one-to-many.  All game systems
>> such as reputation, etc, must work from identities and not from
>> characters.

> That's one definition of "disguise".  Another definition of
> disguise is to mask identity into the abstract generality.  Thus a
> beggar disguise doesn't achieve a unique beggar identity. but
> instead "a non-descript unremarkable and generally unidentifiable
> beggar who be transparently replaced with any beggar in the city."

Well... that depends on point of view.  The player's goal may simply
be to appear as "a beggar", but realistically, he/she will still
appear as a *specific* beggar, uniquely identifiable from other
beggars.  IOW, the player is creating a specific identity, but is
more interested in it being of a general class than in the actual

Making players have a specific identity even when they're disguising
generically can be useful -- consider, for example, a player who
overuses his/her "beggar" disguise, and someone catches on that the
same beggar has been seen at all these robberies...

If the disguises are truly generic (e.g., in a text mud, the only
description you can get of the beggar disguise is "a beggar"), then
this can't happen.  If the disguises are specific, even when the
player only makes a generic specification, then this can happen --
and it can make sense for a player to invest in multiple disguises
of the same type.

(For that matter, if the disguise is at the "a beggar" level, then
the character becomes impossible to track even during one donning of
the disguise, without constant contact.  To give a situation, what
happens if someone gets a good look at the character in his/her
beggar disguise, the character runs into a roomful of other beggars,
the guards round them all up, and the someone is asked to pick out
which beggar he/she saw?)

       |\      _,,,---,,_     Travis S. Casey  <efindel at earthlink.net>
 ZZzz  /,`.-'`'    -.  ;-;;,_   No one agrees with me.  Not even me.
      |,4-  ) )-,_..;\ (  `'-' 
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