[MUD-Dev] Respecting NPCs

J C Lawrence claw at 2wire.com
Thu Oct 25 15:56:01 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


On Thu, 25 Oct 2001 09:13:26 -0700 (PDT) 
gamaiun  <gamaiun at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Thirdly, I would like to mention another role for NPCs --
> Enforcers.  I suppose this would fit into JC's 'mechanical
> translation points', but I thought this subcategory was distinct
> enough to be worth mentioning.  By these I mean NPCs who enforce
> political, social (and even ecological) laws of a particular
> in-game community. Examples would include the ever-popular NPC
> town guards to track down and punish wayward players, or a king's
> rangers who hunt poachers in the royal woods.

What is the critical difference between a system which silently and
officiously kills all players who do X offense,

  "You stepped off the path.  You are dead.

  "*plop* You have died.  Please create a new character."

and an NPC which achieves the same effect,

  "I am a town guard.  You stepped off the path.  I kill you.  You
  are dead."

  "*plop* The guard has killed you.  You have died.  Please create a
  new character."

?

Yes, they can both be heavily flavoured and dressed up in various
ways.  I'm interested if there's an actual critical difference which
makes the use of an NPC fundamentally different from not using an
NPC for mechanical enforcement.

I don't think there is a fundamental difference.

--
J C Lawrence
---------(*)                Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas.
claw at kanga.nu               He lived as a devil, eh?
http://www.kanga.nu/~claw/  Evil is a name of a foeman, as I live.
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