[MUD-Dev] Importance of player roles

Sasha Hart Sasha.Hart at directory.reed.edu
Fri Nov 30 18:55:55 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


[Sasha Hart]:

> Rather, I'd like to claim that it makes more sense to worry about
> the quality of interaction than things which will probably just
> affect the quantity of encounter (e.g. population density.)

The specific case rethought a little because I think this brings up
an interesting issue: I'll concede easily that population density
might need to reach a certain level for a given setup to achieve
impressive results, out of the following experience.

I used to play a certain game as an orc. Hardly anyone wanted to
play an orc, so while orcs were supposed to be vastly numerous
(Tolkien describes them in giant hordes), whenever we were
skirmishing we had to make lame poses involving the other orcs that
were supposedly with us. Or employ a puppet NPC named "A horde of
Orcs." Far from impressive or threatening in the way that many PC
orcs would be, this was just stupid in a way that isn't entirely
remediable by even the best roleplay on all sides.

The most obvious and satisfactory solution would just be to have all
of the people we wanted. More feasible, I think: trash the
assumption that PC population should be representative of the
population, in size or in makeup. What's wrong with a game in which
everyone playing is a member of the "nobility," for example?

Nothing I can think of, other than that it would also require giving
up on the hackneyed conventions of starting out as a peasant or
hacking up rats for hours before you get to do anything interesting
at all.
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