[MUD-Dev] Something in the water

Travis Casey efindel at earthlink.net
Sat Aug 4 22:31:39 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

On Monday 30 July 2001 09:05 pm, rayzam wrote:
> From: "Travis Casey" <efindel at earthlink.net>

>> Sure, I'll accept that.  However, they still have to define what
>> that is, which is the essential part of my point.  Just saying,
>> "we want to encourage roleplaying" without defining roleplaying
>> is only going to confuse things.

>> In any case, though, many paper RPGs have provided alternative
>> means of advancement besides "shoot-and-loot" or "XP through
>> roleplaying".  Some of these resemble methods that some muds use.
>> (E.g., "XP for accomplishing story goals" is similar to "XP for
>> completing quests".)

> What about using the drives of a Sims character as a model for
> RPing? In the above examples, there's a decision for a drive or
> motivation. That drive is then either kept internal to the RPer or
> told to the GM. If the GM rewards roleplaying with exp [as I often
> do], the GM needs to know these things. That's the situation with
> the start of this thread. Rewarding roleplaying, be it with RP
> points or exp or whatnot.

Well, I'm not familiar with the Sims, but there are some paper RPGs
that do such things (not in a very detailed fashion, but it's easy
to extrapolate).

> Take the character, have the player set up motivations/drives.
> Predetermine them in advance, such as the sins and virtues. Have
> the player scale the character's stance on each. The player is
> then telling the GM [the server] the character's
> motivations. Boffo is greedy but not into sloth.

Yep.  You can also set up objects for motivations -- e.g., the
character is in love with X, or has a rivalry with Y.

> Now use The Sims model to increase/decrease these drives. Various
> actions in the game can affect the various motivations. Their
> effectiveness is determined by the overall drive state [what's the
> point in using the toilet again when that need is already taken
> care of a minute ago?].

> Then score could be determined by a variety of methods.

> The twist I'm taking with this, is that gaming the system is
> controlled by the game. While the game controls the level of the
> need-states of each drive, it becomes harder to game.

Some paper RPGs have setups where characters may not always be
completely under their players' control.  For example, _Pendragon_
is an Arthurian RPG which has a set of opposed Personality Traits.
Under certain circumstances, rolls on those traits can be required,
and if a roll is a critical failure or a critical success, the
character may be *required* to act in accord with the trait,
regardless of the player's wishes.  For example, if a character with
the trait of "Cowardly" is challenged to a duel by an opponent
he/she knows to be much better, the player may be required to make a
roll against the "Cowardly" trait.  Depending on the results of the
roll, the character might be required to act in a cowardly fashion,
required to act in the opposite fashion (unlikely, but possible), or
it may be left up to player choice.

In some cases, rolls on multiple traits may be called for.  For
example, if a knight is Cowardly, but also Honorable, the two traits
might both be rolled in an opposed contest, to see which one wins

> The methods by which the game could control the need-states is
> varied also.

> Plus allow the player to shift the character's need-states
> too. There should be some controls on this to prevent gaming of
> this aspect. However, it should be open enough to allow for
> radical change too. Example: Boffo can go from greedy to giving,
> slowly over time. However, he could have been visited by 3 ghosts
> while sleeping one nite, and change radically. So a radical change
> could prevent any other gradual changes for the next X amount of
> time. To be more reasonable, perhaps the only gradual change after
> a radical one would be backsliding on the changed scale
> only. Boffo has had this radical change from greedy to giving. But
> he slowly regresses, becoming less giving [and maybe never reaches
> back to greedy]. Outside of a radical change, gradual changes
> could be limited by time and/or number of drives.

Pendragon uses the Runequest style of "learn by doing" for skills,
and applies it to traits as well.  If a character acts honorably in
a significant situation, for example, the character gets to check to
see whether or not his/her Honorable trait increases.

> Over time and staff effort, more and more drives could be added,
> such as wanting blueberries.

Or, as I note above, you could have "generic" traits, which are
assigned a target.

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