[MUD-Dev] Toward a Craftier Dragon

Paul Schwanz paul.schwanz at east.sun.com
Tue Jul 10 11:22:09 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

Often in fantasy fiction, dragons are presented as magical creatures
that are highly intelligent and conniving.  I've yet to face such a
dragon in an MOG.  In order to do so, it seems to me that the dragon
would need to be player controlled.  AI is just not capable of the
sort of craftiness I'd like to see.  Here is a possible model for
player controlled dragons in a typical fantasy MUD.

The player begins with a dragon that is little more than a large
lizard.  The dragon has a designated lair.  Advancement as a dragon
is simple.  The amount of gold in your lair (and the game determined
gold value of items you've hoarded) determines your experience
points.  You begin with none and must find, steal or loot gold or
valuable items in order to advance.  Initially, you can spend your
experience points to increase the size/strength/hit points of your
dragon.  Later, you can spend them for additional abilities, such as
the ability to fly; the ability to breath fire, ice, poison, etc.;
the ability to expand, customize, and create traps in your lair; and
the ability to perform magic.  Magic (and perhaps other abilities,
such as the ability to fly) will require mana.  Your mana pool as a
dragon is tied to the number/power of magical items in your hoard.
If your lair is found, breached, and looted, you will lose the
ability to regenerate mana.  Once you find steal or loot more
magical items, you will regenerate mana once again, but based on the
magical items currently in your hoard.  Also, you will not gain any
more experience points until your hoard is increased beyond what it
was before it was looted.  If you are killed, you die permanently.
Your dragon eyes can be recovered from your corpse and used to scry
out your lair.  If you live long enough and are cunning enough, you
can become an extremely powerful creature, but you will also be
painting a big target on your chest, since everyone will want a
piece of your amassed treasure.

Anyway, as a dragon or a dragon-hunter, this sounds like great fun
to me.  Of course, it is very PvP oriented and as such might not be
everyone's cup of tea.  I'm sure a similar model, where amassing
<highly desired resource> leads to greater power for a playable,
adversarial character, could work in other types of MUDs as well.

Please feel free to poke holes or give other feedback.


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