[MUD-Dev] Toward a Craftier Dragon

Paul Schwanz - Enterprise Services Paul.Schwanz at Sun.COM
Wed Jul 11 13:24:28 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

Maximus wrote:

>  1) A lot of people would want to play the dragon, so I guess some
>  kind of limited number would have to made available and fairly
>  given out.

Yes.  I had thought that it could be an earned privalege based on
completing a quest or outstanding RP...something like that.  On the
other hand, some others on the list have spoken out recently about
gamers not being willing to accept permanent death of any sort.
Playing a dragon would certainly be a "play to lose" proposition.
In fact, JC's thread about players as prey helped inspire this
reformulation of a player-dragon idea I had a few years ago.

Would players really want to play within this model over an extended
period of time, or would the novelty wear off rather quickly...like
the first time they were killed or their lair was raided?
Personally, I tend to think that with the right implementation,
permanent death would be acceptable to gamers, but maybe it could be
used as a mechanism to help balance the number of players who wanted
to play a dragon.

>  2) Enough dragons would have to exist to balance the number of
>  players so they at least had a chance to survive. Imagining a
>  hundred people ganging up to slay it.

It seems to me that if you experiment a bit with the treasure to
power ratio, this might help balance things.  In other words, a
dragon that has the sort of power that would give a party of five a
good fight should also have the treasure that would just satisfy a
party of five.  If a party of one hundred is interested enough in
one dragon to hunt it down, you might assume that the dragon either
has enough treasure to go around (and thus an appropriate amount of
inherent power or a dangerous enough lair) to equal the one hundred.
Since dragon power is tied directly to treasure, this is possible.

On the other hand, perhaps the dragon has simply been a bit too
annoying to too many people.  A dragon should be more careful...and
crafty.  It seems to me that the sort of dragon that survives to
become extremely powerful (cunning, predatorial, and a bit paranoid)
is precisely the sort of dragon I'd expect to meet in a fantasy


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