[MUD-Dev] Player characters as a prey species

Jon Leonard jleonard at slimy.com
Sun Jul 8 16:02:05 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


At a (board-)gaming event last night, JCL brought up the idea of a
MUD where players are not the dominant species in the gameworld.
Instead they're prone to being eaten by city-size dragons or some
such.

One of the possible purposes of such a game is to provide a
mechanism by which more powerful characters get removed from play
(permadeath implied).

It seems to me to be a niche concept, but one worth exploring.

Comparisons to the paper RPGs Call of Cthluhu and Paranoia came to
mind immediately...  They depend a lot on the flavor of the
gameworld, which may or may not be an intrinsic propery of games
with short character life expectancy.

A variant on the idea is one in which some (nearly?) undefeatable
monsters always hunt the most powerful character available.  This is
a rather gameable mechanic, but it does serve to limit the supply of
high-powered characters at any one point.

Another idea I had this morning was something along the lines of a
slow permadeath.  Suppose that each character has a healing
multiplier stat, and that all health-recovery effects, (healing
spells or natural recovery, etc.) get multiplied by it.  If certain
monsters do damage that permanently reduces this stat, it could make
it such that characters simply can't be played forever.

(I'd be more carefull attibuting ideas, but it was rather late and I
wasn't taking written notes.)

Jon Leonard
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