[MUD-Dev] Wilderness

Edward Glowacki glowack2 at msu.edu
Tue Jul 31 11:14:23 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

Quoted from Caliban Tiresias Darklock on Mon, Jul 30, 2001 at
05:56:32PM -0700:

> medieval-style game. There's just no logical rationale that
> immediately presents itself for the inn to be on one side of town
> today and the other side tomorrow.  I'd like to hear any plausible
> rationale people can come up with; I'm sure it would be
> interesting.

This quote in particular (and the thread in general) reminds me of
the movie "Dark City" (which I would recommend watching if you
haven't seen it).  Basically every night the some or all of an
entire city is rearranged, buildings shrink, grow, change styles,
etc. while the humans sleep.  When they wake up, things are
different.  This is something that is central to the story being
told, and it's incorporated well enough that you can easily accept
that this is "the way things are."

If you build a game and you want to rearrange things to keep it
interesting, build it into the story so it's an essential component.
Maybe the world:

  - is geologically active at a rate millions of times faster than
  the Earth, so you can almost watch the continents rearrange

  - is alive and intelligent, and likes changing things to keep its
  inhabitants on their toes.

  - is alive and intelligent, and wants to get rid of its
  inhabitants like a dog would fleas!

  - is a mostly stable slice on the edge of Chaos, and every once in
  a while the border weakens and Chaos rearranges parts of the

  - is ruled by very active gods (think of the old computer game
  Populous, or newer games like SimCity where you can make the land
  rise and fall)

  - is a powerful wizard's (or group of wizards') experiment to see
  how people and animals react to a changing environment

  - has a very diverse weather pattern, where "seasons" affect the
  whole world equally and the landscape is markedly different at
  different times of the year.  "It's the Month of Mountains.  Next
  is the Month of the Rising Sea, followed by Month of Water.  Then
  Month of the Islands, Month of the Land, Month of the Desert, and
  finally back to Month of the Mountains."  (Just the water rising
  and falling here, but you could do the same with heat/cold,
  light/dark, masses of plants vs. barren land, etc.)

  - is built of very weak material instead of rock, so it's somewhat
  fluid and/or easily changed by humans.  (Maybe an ox cart leaves
  ruts in solid stone, or building a castle on top of a bluff slowly
  causes the bluff to sink until eventually the castle is on level

Build it into the backstory and any of these ideas should be taken
in by the players without much difficulty.

Edward Glowacki			glowack2 at msu.edu
"Speak softly and carry a +6 two-handed sword."  --fortune
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